Request: Discovery Communications Add at Least One Female Member to its Board of Directors

Request: Discovery Communications Add at Least One Female Member to its Board of Directors

April 26, 2016
Petition to
Chairman, Discovery Communications Robert J. Miron and
This petition made change with 328 supporters!

Why this petition matters

Started by Olga Mack

According to recent data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, 24 Fortune 500 companies currently have no women on their boards. Discovery Communications, a leader in its industry, is one of the companies on this embarrassing list. It is fundamentally unfair and repugnant that gender inequality can prevent a woman from joining Discovery Communications’ board of directors, no matter how hard-working, deserving, or qualified she is. Lack of gender diversity is so last century!

Discovery Communications is an American global mass media and entertainment company famous for its portfolio of over 50 network entertainment brands. Popular Discovery Communications brands include Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, and OWN: the Oprah Winfrey Network. Discovery Communications shows are offered through multiple services, including YouTube, iTunes, and more than 40 other distribution partners and devices. Discovery has 375 million monthly online streams of its programming. Discovery also produces educational products and services to schools, including a series of K-12 digital textbooks, through Discovery Education and Discovery Digital Networks. 

Clearly, Discovery Communications aims to entertain and educate families around the country. Women and girls make up a significant percentage of the company’s consumers. In fact, Investigation Discovery was the #1 network for Women in all of cable in the fourth quarter of 2015! This makes it even more unfathomable that Discovery Communications does not include any women on their board. It is hypocritical for a company dedicated to education and advancement to be so backwards when it comes to gender inequality. Discovery Communications should try harder to find at least one qualified woman to serve on its board of directors!

Sign this petition and ask Discovery Communications to add at least one female member to its board of directors. 

Adding women to Discovery Communications’ board will significantly increase Discovery Communications’ profits and makes business sense. A 2015 McKinsey and Co. study determined that companies in the top quartile of gender diversity are 15% more likely to financially outperform those in the bottom quartile. A 2014 Catalyst study found that having more women in leadership and board positions resulted in better financial performance while increasing innovation and group performance.

A gender-diverse board will increase Discovery Communications’ competitive advantage. Diversity of thought, view, and experience will give Discovery Communications a competitive advantage because it will help the company consider new perspectives, ask different questions and recognize fresh trends and opportunities. Companies that do not have women on their boards miss out on the perspective of more than half the population. 

As an industry leader, supporting gender equality puts Discovery Communications on the right side of the issue. Does Discovery Communications need its peer companies or government to remind it to do the right thing? Does Discovery Communications want to be on the wrong side of history? As a company of high stature, visibility and influence, Discovery Communications has the resources and footprint to create a positive legacy. By solving its board of directors’ gender diversity problem, Discovery Communications can continue cementing its position as both a corporate and social leader. 

I am a founder of Women Serve on Boards, a General Counsel at a leading technology company, and an enthusiastic advocate for women and gender equality. As a Discovery Communications customer, female professional, and mother of two daughters, I would like to see more relatable female role models and leaders at every level of Discovery Communications. The change must start at the top. I hope the next generation of women will benefit from a more equal society and that Discovery Communications can lead the charge in getting us there. After all, this is 2016. Why should one’s gender make it impossible to serve on the board of directors of Discovery Communications? 

I genuinely hope that you join me in urging Discovery Communications to take steps toward gender equality on its board. Thank you very much in advance for being a socially responsible leader. Together, we can pave the way to a more equal future.


This petition made change with 328 supporters!

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