In the Blog
Wendy Donnan: In Control at OUTtv
Every Thursday I profile a new incredible woman, each from a different walk of life. Different professions, causes, backgrounds, ethnicities, orientations, and anything/everything else!
So without further delay, let me introduce the fantastic Wendy Donnan…
As VP of Original Programming and Acquisitions for OUTtv, “Canada’s Premier gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender television network”, Wendy Donnan is responsible for bringing the best of Canadian and international LGBT lifestyle and general entertainment shows to our teletubes. Handling a line-up that includes shows like Sugar Rush, Bump!, Curl Girls, Queer as Folk, and Chris and John to the rescue, Wendy takes time to tell us why not accepting mediocrity and striving to be the best person you can be can change the world.
What drives you to do what you do?
I thoroughly enjoy working in television and find it creative and stimulating. This network has been a challenge to programme through difficult times, but I am always up for a challenge. I love programming, original production, and acquisitions. Television is never a dull moment!
How does being a woman empower / challenge you?
It’s a challenge being a woman in the television business but as I said before, I am up for the challenge. Being a television executive requires a diverse skillset that I have built up over 25 years in this business. Being a woman hasn’t hindered me at all and I think it has actually helped me. Women in this business have to be tough negotiators but also be able to work with producers and talent to bring projects to fruition. It’s a tough but rewarding business.
What advice would you give to young women who want to follow in your footsteps?
Don’t be afraid to start learning this business at the very bottom. My advice to young women is that they take advantage of all internship opportunities out of school, even if it doesn’t pay. Learn the business from the bottom up. As a programmer, I also had to learn to be a producer to really understand programming and what would work for various networks. Learn all aspects of the business so that you can understand the business side, for example, of being a producer. A lot of producers focus entirely on the creative side of their business but not so much on the technical and financial side. Learning all of it. Being a problem solver and learning to deal with conflict and problems is so important in this business. I graduated in Journalism, not thinking at the time that I would end up in television but an opportunity came up out of school and it was a good fit for me. I thought I would end up working with a newspaper or in publishing.
Name one person, place, or thing every young woman should know about?
Every young woman should have role models to live up to. People that you admire, male or female. For example, Margaret Thatcher for me was a role model while I was growing up. I watched her on television and read about her and admired her guts and determination and will to survive in a mans world.
What is the most important thing we can do in order to change the world?
Don’t be afraid to dream. Follow your dreams, don’t be afraid of them. Realize that you only have one lifetime and you need to get what you want to out of life. Don’t accept mediocrity, always strive to be the best person you can be in all areas of life. A strong viewpoint on how to live life to make the most of it is very important to everyone.