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Get To Know What Drives The Powerhouse Women At BET
Career & Money

Get To Know What Drives The Powerhouse Women At BET

It’s always powerfully refreshing and super-inspiring to see Black women in leadership roles, especially when they call the shots at a legendary corporation (once valued at $2.7 billion) at the forefront of Black entertainment and culture. And while we have a long way to go in terms of equity, especially in CEO roles, it’s important to give the flowers due to those who are setting the tone today, breaking boundaries and paving the way.


With decades of combined experience under their belts, these women in leadership at BET Media Group, the parent company of Black Entertainment Television (BET) and VH1, to name a few, wear their crowns smartly, proudly and boldly. Talk about taking up space!

We caught up with three of them to get the gist on the day-to-day of their roles, the morning routines that lay the foundation for a winning day, and why they truly love what they do:

Derek White/Getty Images

KIMBERLY PAIGE
Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
BET Media Group

Kimberly Paige develops marketing strategies across BET Media Group to drive brand support, consumption, and advocacy. From BET Digital and 360 Marketing to brand creative, she’s tasked with making sure business objectives are met, communities are engaged, and the brand is able to deliver on the goal to “advance Black Love, Black Joy, Black Pride and Black Power.

”Every day, I look forward to doing meaningful work that matters and partnering with teams across BET and Paramount, as well as external partners to help take our relationship with our audience and consumers to the next level. We have the luxury of really serving our community and being unapologetic and intentional about that."

On impact: “I hope to leave a legacy that I delivered strategic and bold marketing that left our brands stronger than when I found them. I hope to be remembered as a fair and visionary leader that advanced my team’s capabilities and made them feel like anything is possible, and most of all, that we had fun while making an impact along the way.”

Morning traditions: “I try to work out to clear my mind and get ready for the day. However, every day that I wake up, I drink tons of water and turn on my music to set the tone for what will be an amazing day ahead!”

“I value the advice that I received on the fact that great leaders operate with high emotional intelligence and are visionary, fair, and decisive.”

On sustaining success: “It is pivotal to learn and study the business in which you are striving to thrive. Don’t become too focused on the 'shiny' things, but rather learn your craft and use your authentic voice early and often. Most of all, I encourage aspiring marketers to be open to sponsors who can advocate on your behalf when you’re not in the room.

Arnold Turner / Stringer/Getty Images

AISHA SUMMERS-BURKE
General Manager and Executive Vice President
BET Studios & BET Media Group

As general manager and EVP of BET Studios, Aisha Summers-Burke works collaboratively with BET Media Group’s president and CEO, Scott Mills, to create opportunities for rising content creators to create TV series and films for large internal buyers and other third-party platforms. She also works with the team to come up with plans to provide equity ownership to Black creators, oversees the contemporary creative content across multiple platforms, and helms the expansion of its production and impact by finding strategic synergies with the studio’s creative external and internal partners.

“My ultimate goal is to produce inspiration and relevant conversations for Black audiences through entertainment and empowerment."

On the one top thing she loves about her job: "By working with an amazing pool of talented Black content creators across TV and film, I get the opportunity to nurture someone’s personal story and life experiences into beautifully original content that is both captivating and creative. As the demand for premium content from Black creators increases, it is a joy to share these stories from people of all walks of life and differing points of view from an often-underrepresented perspective. My job is humbling, empowering, and challenging, as our teams and partners are constantly mining to find that next experience we can all resonate with personally."

On building impact: "My career and personal legacy goals are tightly entwined. I hope to be an example of what is possible without limitations. As a parent of young twins, I particularly want my daughter, and all young girls of color like her to see me and say, “I can do that!” If they see a strong, confident, successful Black woman who is achieving her dream through hard work and dedication, I hope they will grow up knowing that the only limits they will face are those they set for themselves."

Her morning at-work must-have: "I always enter my office with a large cup of coffee and my twins’ schedule pulled up on my phone. … It is critical for me to prioritize my day before it officially begins to protect my peace of mind and to attempt at a manageable life/work balance."

"Find your tribe. This business is still a challenge for people of color. It is essential to find a small support system built on trust whose feedback you value, who can help you survive your successes and failures, and who challenges you to simply never give up."

Her advice to up-and-comers: "As an older millennial (ahem), I believe networking with your peers is more relevant and beneficial than constantly trying to network 'up.' As I mentioned, creating a tribe is extremely important and, in many cases, it is the people within your peer group that have shared experiences and become part of your support system, if you are lucky enough to have years in this business ahead of you."

Paras Griffin/Stringer/Getty Images

CONSTANCE ‘Connie’ ORLANDO
Executive Vice President of Specials
Music Programming, Music Strategy & News
BET Media Group

Constance Orlando’s role involves developing BET Media Group's music strategy that reflects the opportunities for music and music talent across the full array of BET Media Group’s businesses and initiatives. “I love being immersed in every aspect of Black culture. BET sits at the unique intersection of content, community, and culture, whereas we are able to celebrate, honor, educate, and in some cases create cultural moments that live forever.

"I love being surrounded by so many brilliantly creative people and joining forces to create groundbreaking moments that only BET can create. Not only do we get to celebrate culture, but we also get to create it!"

On legacy: “I would love to be seen as someone who was always true to celebrating and broadening the way people view, understand, and appreciate Black culture globally."

The morning essentials: “I always start the day with God and gratitude. I pray and give thanks for another day to evolve, create, and leave an impact on this world. It is important not to get lost in what I do and how much I can do, as it’s more important to feed who I am becoming."

Best advice from a mentor: “Be myself. I’ve learned that it is important to avoid trying to emulate or lead like anyone else. We all have a unique superpower that only we can bring to a space, and it is in the layers of this authenticity that innovation and success is birthed."

Advice for women aspiring to work in corporate entertainment: “Bring your best, as work ethic is always rewarded and pays off in the long run. I also encourage you to explore new ways to do things and be curious forever.”

Featured image by Cecilie_Arcurs/Getty Images

 

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