Janine Jones-Clark
Employee Spotlight

Janine Jones-Clark: Addressing Diversity Behind the Camera

Janine Jones-Clark: Addressing Diversity Behind the Camera

As Executive Vice President of Inclusion - Talent and Content at Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Janine Jones-Clark is helping to reshape how the company operates both in front and behind the camera. Jones-Clark was featured in The Wrap’s “Changemakers 2021: 32 Women Who Saved Entertainment This Year.” Jones-Clark also delivered the keynote address at the 2021 Power Women Summit. Read highlights from her keynote address and excerpt from The Wrap below.

Q: How do you approach the work of integrating diversity without seeming disingenuous?

A: “Our team’s mission is to create access and opportunities on a global scale for underrepresented talent at all levels of production.”

“We are not about checking off boxes here, but about finding talent who have multicultural perspectives. This kind of work has now become a real part of the business.”

“It’s commitment like this that was one of the key reasons behind my decision to join Universal.”

Q: How do you plan to move this work forward in the future?

A: “When our department was formed, we started off with three full-time positions – and I was one of those three. I’m so grateful, now more than ever, to say that we have quadrupled in size and thanks to NBCU’s commitment to this work, we are prouder than ever and making change.”

“We’re moving ahead at full throttle. We’ll continue our work to change the industry landscape for the next five years and onwards because we’re in it for the long haul. The ultimate win for me will be when the work we do becomes part of the studio systems DNA, making Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) as common as putting together a budget or casting.”

“Our team is here to support talent, exploring avenues like writing, directing, composing, below-the-line, or those focused on building careers at Universal. We’re making an impact, but we didn't get here overnight. We know it’s going to take continued strategic vision and most importantly, time, to bring about systemic change.”

Q: How has your background impacted your passion for your current work?

A: “I’ve been the unconventional hire throughout my entire career. I’ve constantly been the only one in the room to represent my cultural background and perspective.”

“I was always inspired to take on all that life brings and not shy away from opportunities.”

“Transitioning from publicity to programming to DE&I and from TV to film was a complex yet rewarding trajectory. Some felt that I sacrificed what was comfortable success along the way, but I was exhilarated to have a chance to give back to our industry and champion marginalized talent.”

Q: How has your department, Global Talent Development & Inclusion (GTDI) made an impact?

A: “I’m incredibly proud of the program’s initiatives and strategies our team have put into action.”

“Over the last five years, we have consistently built momentum to accomplish our goal, but we all know there is more work to be done.”

“Our alumni are catching the eye of decision makers and the industry at large. Because we are truly inclusive in our search for talent, female representation is one of our many priorities.”

Q: How does having female representation at all levels of NBCUniversal improve the industry?

A: “Female talent from all levels is championed, from our filmmakers to our senior leaders to GTDI’s up-and-coming talent.”

“I feel it’s our responsibility as women with unique backgrounds, talent, and points of view to come together, to share ideas, to champion each other, and most importantly, lean in and support our next generation of women.”

Read the full interview in The Wrap here and watch the full keynote address here.