by Alana Seldon
March 13, 2023
During Women’s History Month, the world highlights the contributions of women throughout history!
This year, TV One’s theme is celebrating the powerful women we come into contact with every day. Whether a family member or friend, we’re here to give our every day heroes their flowers.
Many of those women paving the way, uplifting, and empowering Black women, are actually behind our network.
Join us throughout the month of March, as we pull back the curtain to highlight our own! In Q&A style, learn more about some of the women who make things happen every day at TV One with their hard work and dedication.
INTRODUCING NICOLE DATES
Sr. Manager, Program Scheduling & Acquisitions
What led you to TV One?
It was always my goal to work at an African-American media company, and the fact that I previously worked at Discovery Communications, LLC, which was right across the street, I knew I had a strong chance! When TV One launched in 2004, I knew I had to learn as much as I could at Discovery, so that I could be fully prepared and confident in my abilities to continue my television career there. I was fortunate enough to secure my first job at TV One 10 years ago and haven’t looked back!
Why is it important for women to have a seat at the table, especially in the entertainment industry?
One word – REPRESENTATION. In order to be seen and heard, it is imperative that women show up because we are the only ones who know how to “represent” us. In almost any industry, women have always endured the challenge of having equal pay, getting that promotion, securing a leadership role, etc. But in the entertainment industry, particularly, it is critical that women are appropriately represented in front of the camera as well as behind the camera, because there have been too many instances where there has been a false idea of a woman’s overall worth and a misrepresentation of our character. Once we have a seat at the table, we can address any ambiguities that any one thinks they know is right for us.
Women face many challenges such as flexible hours, remote working, motherhood, and finding a work-life balance. How do you empower yourself and the women around you through it all?
I am now seeing what it is like to have to balance working and being a mother, which is life changing. That being said, I remind myself to continue to keep the lines of communication open with my supervisor and team members, and just let them know exactly what I have going on that day (i.e. taking my daughter to the doctor, dentist appointments, taking a sick day because she is sick, etc). Life can be very challenging at times, but as long as you are honest and transparent with your colleagues, while ensuring that the job responsibilities will still be achieved, it makes being a “working mom” so much easier.
If you could only pick one, who is the most influential woman you know? How does she inspire you?
The most influential woman I know is my mother. She is one the smartest, kindest, and most of all, selfless women I know and aspire to become. Not only was she a mother to myself and my older sister, but played a motherly role to several young girls when she was a special education teacher in Baltimore City. When some of them endured shortcomings at home, she was willing to step in and assist in any way that she could to ensure that they had what they needed (i.e. food, clothes, etc). She inspires me to be a better person every day, and sometimes just being better is helping those who need it most. I am so thankful that God chose her to by my beautiful mother!
Share a piece of advice for young women starting out on their career journey.
Learn as much as you can and ask many questions along the way. The more you know, the more you will grow! Also, don’t be afraid to move on and explore other opportunities if you don’t feel like you’re going to grow in your current role. Complacency is NEVER the answer!
What legacy do you hope to leave?
I hope I am remembered for being flexible, a hard worker, and showcasing leadership to the next generation and beyond.
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