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 CORINNE KIRKLAND-MERCEDES
Director of Legal and Business
What led you to TV One?
The opportunity to work for the largest Black owned television network, with programming utilizing talent both in front of and behind the camera from my community. Diversity it’s not a new policy or goal we are collectively working towards, it’s what TV One already is. The opportunity not to code switch, to be my authentic self, and to work with a team that cares.
Why is it important for women to have a seat at the table, especially in the entertainment industry?
Perspective and the need to further equality are a couple of the many reasons women need to have a seat at the table. Everyone has their own unique experiences that shapes each person’s perspective. The opportunity to share those perspectives, advocate for those who have been marginalized, give a voice to those you represent, tell your own story in your own voice, all fosters the development of better companies, ideas, policies and communities.
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 try to teach others what I have learned along the way, demonstrate that at times it’s OK to be vulnerable, give and receive grace; it frees you and helps you get tough times. Grace to fail and get back up again, grace to learn, grace to become better.
Perfectly balancing family, work, and other obligations is an illusion best left to scripted television. Let go of the idea that you have to be perfect at everything, always strive to be your best but forgive yourself when you fall short, because failures happen. The point is to learn from it, get back up, and press forward.
If you could only pick one, who is the most influential woman you know? How does she inspire you?
My grandmother. She treated people with love and kindness but didn’t care who liked or didn’t like her, yet she had everyone’s respect. She was comfortable being her authentic self, she laughed hard, and took the challenges in life in stride. She had amazing discernment, she knew people, and could spot ill intentions from a mile away.
I didn’t learn until high school that she didn’t know how to read. She allowed me to help teach her, which in turn taught me that it’s never too late to develop yourself, educate yourself, and become the best version of yourself. Irrespective how strong you are, everyone needs help at times. She taught me to give help and be willing to receive that help. I strive to be like her every day.
Share a piece of advice for young women starting out on their career journey.
Find a mentor who is working in your area of interest. Volunteer to get on the ground training. You are responsible for your career development, make sure you carve out time on a regular basis to do those things that encourages growth in your life. It may mean reading more, taking a class, networking, or even getting therapy to make sure you are mentally and emotionally positioned to move forward when the time comes.
What legacy do you hope to leave?
I want to leave an indelible mark, that my life somehow encourages someone else to reach for an impossible dream; I want to be able create and give opportunities that continue to help others well after I’ve left this earth, and I want to be an example that demonstrates “with God all things are possible”.
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