October 18, 2019

Viacom’s Marva Smalls Talks About Creating a ‘Culture of Inclusion’

By Sharon Waxman

Marva Smalls, who serves as EVP and global head of inclusion strategy at Viacom, has led  an ambitious initiative that recently featured a week of speakers, workshops, master classes and more within the corporation, all about creating a culture of inclusion.

Smalls will be speaking at the Power Women Summit next week in Santa Monica at a roundtable where leaders will be exchanging ideas. I recently sat down with her and got insight on what she’s aiming to achieve.

What was Inclusion Week about?
I felt as if I had a week of one giant master class — every session, every day, was a crescendo of  thought leaders, influencers, who participated in the engagement of our employees.

It’s a program that we first launched in our U.K. office a year ago. There, the government asked corporations to declare Inclusion Week as an opportunity to demonstrate their spirit of inclusion across the UK. We had initiatives in place, but there we programmed a week using internal and external thought leaders as well as entertainment. Here we Viacom we believe in every day inclusion, so it isn’t to suggest we are one week and done.