A Senior Executive On How #BlackWomenAtWork Can Navigate Microaggressions And Discrimination
Marcus Redd

BET’s Senior Vice-President, Kim Lewis, knows a thing or two about being resilient in corporate America and overcoming adversity in the workplace. She’s been serving in various capacities for the Viacom brand for more than a decade and has had a wealth of experience helping to amplify Black Girl Magic worldwide. The University of California at Berkeley graduate shares gems she discovered on her journey to the top and how all #BlackWomenAtWork can continue to stand in their truths despite facing ongoing discrimination in the work place.

Name: Kim Lewis

Title: Senior Vice-President, BET Networks (West Coast/Mid-West Sales)

Location: Chatsworth, California

Hometown: Nanuet, New York

Age: 46

Find Her On Social Media: LinkedIn

The Gig: I oversee advertising and integrated marketing partnerships across the West Coast and Midwest. Essentially, my goal here is to implement the winning sales strategies and overall integrated marketing solutions that help drive revenue for the network.

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A Typical Day In Her Life: It’s filled with multitasking that starts with waking up and managing the home life. But as soon as I walk in the door, I am focused on things like building strategy and partnership opportunities. It’s really a mix bag of opportunities to manage and handle.

Experiencing Discrimination At Work: There are cultural boundaries and things that folks don’t understand about us as Black women. Where I find my challenges is when we go out and speak to others in the markets and they have a hard time understanding the value and the power of the African-American woman. [They fail to realize that] in anything, we can really be a difference maker and are beyond any boundaries. Often times, it’s trying to convince somebody across the table that we matter.

Advice For Black Women Entering In Corporate America: Be nimble, be a strategic thinker, always be able to think on your feet, be persistent, have humor, take a deep breath, be consistent yet optimistic, build strong relationships, create effective time management and have deliberate practice. It’s about understanding what it is that you need to do and being the best at it.

Still More Work To Do: It’s definitely been a journey. Just as we’ve gotten to where we are today, I feel like my job is not done yet. I definitely see a road ahead where I’m continuing to influence, guide and uplift.

Maintaining A Happy Family With A Thriving Career: I’ve been married since 1998 and we have one daughter. The key for us is that he’s so clear on what I do and I’m so clear on what he does. What we have to do is strategically find time to connect. The other thing that hits it for us is having fun. 

Her Superpower: Being a chameleon. I can transform into different places and be with different people and be ok with it.  

Her Theme Song: “Survivor” – Destiny’s Child