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 ALLISON SIMMONS
Sr. Director, Original Program, Programming & Production
What led you to TV One?
I have an extensive background in TV development and production. After developing and selling shows for the past several years, I decided that I wanted to return to the network side where I could leverage my skills onto a bigger platform. A friend who runs a production company mentioned that TV One was looking for a development executive. I interviewed and was fortunate enough to be hired.
Why is it important for women to have a seat at the table, especially in the entertainment industry?
It’s important that women have a seat at the table because we are wives, mothers and decision makers whose voices need to be heard. The entertainment industry is one of the most important industries in the world.
Over the past few years, women have broken through the glass ceiling to show that we can shape the cultural landscape both in front of and behind the camera. We need to have agency in telling our stories so that other women feel empowered to follow in our footsteps.
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 think it’s important to surround yourself with a strong group of female friends who can support you through the ups and downs of life. Many times, it’s my girlfriends who have helped me through some really challenging situations as we all try to juggle kids, jobs and husbands.
There are so many times when I’ve confided a problem to a friend only to discover that she’s experienced the same thing. Once you realize that you’re not alone, the inevitable tough times are a lot easier to navigate.
If you could only pick one, who is the most influential woman you know? How does she inspire you?
I am constantly inspired by Michelle Obama. Her intellect, honesty and wisdom amaze me. She is so accomplished in her own right and yet, there’s something about her that feels very accessible…like she’s one of us. She articulates her feelings about marriage, motherhood and life in a way that is extraordinarily relatable. I admire her because she’s constantly evolving as a person sharing the wisdom of what she’s learned along the way. For someone who truly has it all, she’s remarkably down-to-earth.
Share a piece of advice for young women starting out on their career journey.
The most important advice I can give to young women starting out is two-fold:
- Trust your instincts
- Don’t be afraid to take risks
As women, many of us love feeling secure; but after 20+ years in the business, I’ve learned that you can’t always play it safe. Don’t be afraid to step out on faith knowing that you are worthy of success!
What legacy do you hope to leave?
I hope that I am remembered for being a passionate storyteller who cares deeply about women and people of color. Every story is a gift. Being able to take someone’s story and bring it to life on screen is truly an honor and a privilege.
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