CBS Launches Female Empowerment Program "Eye Speak"

Maria Bello, Sonequa Martin-Green, Gina Rodriguez - Split - Getty - H 2018
From left to right: Tibrina Hobson, Steve Granitz, Gregg DeGuire, all Getty Images

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, CBS is making an effort to support women.

The company is launching Eye Speak, a program designed to promote female empowerment and forge a path of growth and opportunity for women at CBS and the entertainment industry as a whole. The initiative — announced by CBS Corp. president and chief advertising revenue officer Jo Ann Ross — is a group effort by CBS Television Studios, CBS Entertainment Diversity and Inclusion, CBS Corporate Communications and CBS Sales.

CBS TV Studios will host a kickoff event March 14 in Los Angeles, featuring a panel of female voices from the network’s series, including Maria Bello (NCIS), Sonequa Martin-Green (Star Trek: Discovery), Sara Ramirez (Madam Secretary), Gina Rodriguez and Jennie Snyder Urman (Jane the Virgin), Lori McCreary (Madam Secretary) and Aline Brosh McKenna (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend). They’ll share their personal stories and talk about how each of them is helping to move the conversation forward.

The launch event will be in concert with the Association of National Advertisers and the #SeeHer campaign, which ANA supports. #SeeHer was created with the mission to portray girls and women accurately in media, and the goal is for women and girls to see themselves reflected as they truly are in 2020. The Eye Speak kickoff event is part of CBS’ ongoing partnership with the ANA to promote the initiative.

As part of Eye Speak, CBS plans to host events throughout the year, including mentorship programs and fireside chats for employees at various company campuses, where they will have direct access to  executives and high-profile women in all areas of entertainment. The company also will look to build themed events and programs around certain CBS series and creative talent to produce more opportunities for learning and growth. 

In addition, CBS All Access will host a special season two premiere screening of The Good Fight at The Wing, a network of women’s co-working and community spaces, in New York on Feb. 26. The event will include an intimate discussion with the strong female voices of the series: Christine Baranski, Rose Leslie, Audra McDonald, showrunner Michelle King and exec producer and director Brooke Kennedy.

“I am extremely proud to be associated with Eye Speak because it addresses my passion to help women at CBS learn, grow and flourish,” said Ross. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to continue building on the positive impact that the CBS Women’s Networking Group and other women’s initiatives have already had on so many. I look forward to contributing to Eye Speak’s success and to having a front-row seat in observing ANA’s #SeeHer mission come to life.”

“We are delighted to continue to partner with CBS,” added ANA #SeeHer chair Stephen Quinn. “Eye Speak is another initiative showcasing that CBS understands the role media plays influencing how women and girls see themselves, and another bold step to reduce unconscious bias. Together we are working hard to attain our goal of improving representation of girls and women in media 20% by 2020, the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote.”