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David Linde
David Linde

Participant Media CEO David Linde: It's 'Not That Hard' to Foster Inclusion, Diversity

Participant Media CEO David Linde was honored with the EmPOWerment Award at Variety’s Power of Women event presented by Lifetime. He was recognized at the annual event on Friday for his company’s backing of female-centric films like “RBG,” Roma,” and “On the Basis of Sex.” However, Linde said in his acceptance speech that it’s “really not that hard” to do the right thing.

Throughout his career, Linde said he has attended too many meetings where people championed diversity, only to decry it too difficult to find women and then promptly hired a man for the position. He said in 2017, women comprised only 18% of all directors, writers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers in the top 250 grossing films domestically.

That’s why Linde said it’s so important that Participant contributes to ensuring women have an “equal seat at the table.”

“Everyone at the company is guided by the simple yet profound idea that anyone can be a leader for social change, and that storytelling, as we have seen today, is a tremendous catalyst to discover and nurture real leaders,” Linde said. “This is why it’s not really hard to create a community of inclusion, because the entire staff, from leadership to the newest members of our team, believe in a work community that reflects the real world and the real fabric of our nation.”

Linde named many individuals and leaders who have influenced his mission to promote inclusion and diversity, like his parents and his wife. He encouraged attendees at the event to not only look up to their heroes, but to let inspiration drive their own action.

“It’s up to us to emulate their strength … to find it in ourselves and to continue that journey, because through our collective stories, through everyone in this room, we can change this industry and we can change the world,” Linde said.

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