To Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i, instilling diversity isn’t just a job; it’s her passion and her mission. Black Enterprise reports that the Howard University graduate became a CBS Entertainment as a publicist in 2000 and spent almost 10 years supervising publicity strategies for the network’s primetime series, movies and specials. Her career path has recently led her down a different road with an appointment as CBS’ vice president of entertainment diversity and communications on the West Coast. The newly created executive level position is aimed at broadening the company’s diversity across the region.
“Diversity on a whole is a global issue that will continuously be a work in progress,” Smith-Anoa’i said to Black Enterprise. “I challenge myself and others on a daily basis to find obvious and practical solutions to this specific problem. There has been progress, however, much more needs to be done and is being done day in and day out.”
In her position Smith-Anoa’i leads the CBS Diversity Discussion, a highly regarded workshop that gathers together minority leaders in the industry for discussion on inclusion and diversity with the company’s executive producers and executive leaders. Smith-Anoa’i strongly believes that diversity is a key to financial and company accomplishment.
“Having more diverse perspectives is always a combination for success,” she said. “When you know better, you do better and it is important and invaluable to have a voice that can ultimately bring change and raise a level of awareness that was not there before. It is pertinent to incorporate people of color at every phase of the process to insure a clear picture of Diversity is being painted.”
Smith-Anoa’i says her just her presence as an African American in an office discussion changes the dynamic of the room, even if she chooses not to say anything. It is her goal to continue to further diverse hiring and inclusion so that the discussions at CBS will continue to change and reflect a diverse staff as well as its diverse viewers.
“When diversity becomes the norm and is no longer viewed as a thorn in the side, I will rest,” she said. “Bottom line, everyone wants to feel acknowledged, included, respected and not invisible.”
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