Congratulations to JONESWORKS client, BET Chairman and CEO Debra Lee, who was just named on Adweek’s second annual Disruptors list! The Disruptors list celebrates women who are not only shattering the glass ceiling but advancing the cause of gender and racial equality. Not satisfied with the status quo, these executives, entrepreneurs and innovators have taken the lead, upending existing power dynamics while breaking down one barrier after another. Read on to find out how Debra Lee is championing the cause of diversity and inclusion in the African American community.
African Americans watch more television than any other group. But for a long time, BET, where Lee has been an executive for 32 years, was the only TV network specifically targeting their $1.2 trillion in buying power. There’s more competition now, but Lee says BET will “continue to be the megaphone for our community … not only in programming but in news and public affairs and community service projects.” As for Lee, since 2010 she has organized Leading Women Defined, an annual invitation-only gathering where high-profile black women discuss the issues of the day and strategize responses. This year, guest of honor Michelle Obama’s remarks about her time as first lady and sidestepping Washington’s many political pitfalls made global headlines.