Radio/TV Host & Producer
Los Angeles, CA
I don’t like to generalize about gender in terms of capabilities, as I don’t think it matters. People can be smart, driven or lazy, regardless of gender.
My mom taught me from an early age that women had amazing power and influence – whether at home or at work (or both) – so you definitely shouldn’t underestimate them. And, I guess I never have.
I don’t like to generalize about gender in terms of capabilities, as I don’t think it matters. People can be smart, driven or lazy, regardless of gender. But what I‘ve learned in my nearly 20 years in the entertainment business in all my different roles – as host, producer or executive – is that I really like working with women.
My various entertainment businesses employ talented men and women across all ranks. However, increasingly our leadership team is made up of more women than men. My radio show co-host and executive producer are both women – as is most of my programming staff. At my entertainment production company, four of our top six executives are women, and many of our television shows are led by women producers and showrunners. As a company overall, our gender stats are fairly even – our goal is to hire the best people.
But there is a small group of smart, hardworking, dedicated women executives that keep my world in order, my businesses running at full throttle, and me on my toes – that’s for sure. We have plenty of guys at our companies too – so I don’t want to discount their contributions either. But I do want to quickly discuss the positives of the girl power influence on our culture, and in turn, on our success.
Women are inclusive, work collaboratively, and foster friendships – all qualities that are fun to be around and contribute to a positive culture. Women can be detail-oriented, which happens to fit well with my own personal work style. It has also has been my experience that women value loyalty over hierarchy, and offer a passion and sensitivity that men sometimes have a harder time revealing, me included.
So, upon reflection, I think it’s the women in my work life who have actually taught me how to lean in. I’ve definitely learned a lot over the years through our many shared successes and failures, brainstorms and arguments, and lots of trial and error.
Here, some of the key lessons they’ve imparted to me along the way:
Be Passionate. Do what you love, and let your passion shine.
Communicate. Listening is key. Everyone can talk but listening produces real results.
Organize. Lists – love them. They keep you focused and on track. You can never have too many of them. Solve. If there’s a problem, solve it. Don’t whine: be solutions-oriented.
Decide. Make swift decisions and then move on; don’t second-guess yourself.
Laugh. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Have a sense of humor.
Cry. A good cry can sometimes solve the world’s problems, do it if you need to. (Even if you’re a guy!)
Celebrate. It’s important to celebrate progress and achievement no matter how small.
A carnapping incident in Zambia teaches a woman lifelong leadership skills.
Sarah Degnan Kambou, PhD