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Advice from women at the top: NBCU Telemundo's Mónica Gil

Gil chats with Know Your Value’s Mika Brzezinski about the work-life juggle during Covid-19, how women are being disproportionately affected by the pandemic, Hispanic Heritage Month and more.
Monica Gil, executive vice president, chief administrative and marketing officer for NBCU Telemundo.
Monica Gil, executive vice president, chief administrative and marketing officer for NBCU Telemundo.NBCU

COVID-19 has proven that women are unstoppable.

Mónica Gil, Chief Administrative & Marketing Officer and an executive vice president at NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises, who oversees marketing, corporate affairs, and the entire company's operations, said women are successfully reinventing themselves during the pandemic and paying attention to their careers more than ever before.

“They’re realizing that nothing is guaranteed during the pandemic. So, they’re dedicating more time to their professional development,” Gil recently told Know Your Value founder and “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski.

Gil also spearheads Telemundo’s Unstoppable Women campaign, or “Mujeres Imparables,” a company-wide initiative to celebrate and promote Latina women's advancement in the workplace.

“Women have proven how unstoppable they are during the pandemic. They’re working harder than ever and doing multiple jobs for longer hours. We are also seeing the women in our organization support each other more than ever and they want to see other women in leading roles,” she added.

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Gil also spoke to Brzezinski about the work-life juggle during Covid-19, how women are being disproportionately affected by the pandemic, Hispanic Heritage Month and more. Here is their conversation, which has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Mika Brzezinski: You were recently promoted to EVP chief administrative and marketing officer for NBCU Telemundo. As part of our Know Your Value pandemic reset series, one of my big pieces of advice is to roll up your sleeves and do all the jobs you can do to keep the ship afloat. It looks like you’re doing just that. How’s it going?

Mónica Gil: Yes. As my career has evolved, I have realized that your skills are transferable, even if you are in a new role. So, it’s important not to underestimate your skill set when you’re in a different job. You just have to be confident in your own skin and adapt to the new responsibilities. And for me, that’s what I've done.

MB: What has been the biggest challenge of running things during the pandemic?

MG: The three most significant challenges are urgency, transparency and leading with empathy.

Everything seems to take longer. For example, some tasks that took one hour now require two to three hours because people are working from home. At the beginning of the pandemic, we had to make sure that all the technology was in place so people could work effectively. But how do you do all of this while keeping a sense of urgency? We needed to communicate with transparency and leading with empathy because people are now working from home within their family dynamics. Many have kids and are being super moms.

People are now also working much longer. There are no more boundaries around work hours, so they have to find ways to schedule family time. The last thing I would say is that the pandemic has made it harder to have conversations among employees. There is no more watercooler talk, and over a screen, it’s harder to debate a topic because there may be a natural delay on a screen, or perhaps you are on mute. Bottom line, the ability to debate and have those conversations is not as easy as it would be in person.

Know Your Value founder and "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski speaks to Monica Gil last November at a Know Your Value event in Philadelphia. Anthony Scutro

MB: I totally agree. And I feel like, especially since we're in television, we're in the news business, it is 24/7 now. The boundaries are completely broken … So how are you feeling personally? Is everybody well in your family?

MG: The meaning of family has always been relevant in my life, but even more so now because we can't be with each other. We don't have the ability to just go to each other's homes and have a meal.

It has been tough. Being the youngest of 12 kids and having 29 nieces and nephews, big family gatherings are the norm. There are kids in the family I haven't even met because they were born during the pandemic. That being said, we've figured out how to turn up the communication. We find each other saying, “I love you” much more. This is the first year we will not be together for Christmas, so we are finding new ways to reinvent our family gatherings. We are writing to each other a lot more; we're calling each other a lot more. It hasn’t been easy, but I'm optimistic that we're going to come out even stronger after this.

Monica Gil with her 11 siblings.Courtesy of Monica Gil.

MB: One of the things that makes our platforms, Know Your Value and Unstoppable Women, so compelling, successful and helpful is that we are also very realistic about our vulnerability, the concerns that we have for our fellow women. I do think that women are being especially challenged during this time and are being pulled away from their careers, and that's really striking for me. What do you think?

MG: You're right. We should really focus on what’s important and make sure our families’ safety and health become a priority. One of the things I want women to understand is that you may not always get what you want at a specific moment, but that's OK it may just mean “not yet.”

I want women who may feel helpless in their career to understand that it’s just temporary. The best way to get out of a slump is to make sure you're doing your homework. If you're in a bad situation, my advice is to get clarity and make decisions from a position of strength, not from a position of uncertainty.

MB: Exactly. We can’t have that spiral. You must move from a position of strength, even at your weakest moment. So, moving forward with all of this in mind, can you give me your thoughts on Hispanic Heritage Month?

MG: There's never been a better time to be Hispanic than now in America, despite the different challenges we are facing, despite being disproportionately affected by COVID-19, despite the fact that Latinas receive 54 cents for every dollar that a non-Hispanic white male makes. I believe the resilience of Latinos and Latinas has never more prominent than what we are seeing now. If we've gotten through these last challenges and can stand up and move forward, I’m inspired by the true definition of what Latino character is all about: it's about resilience. Latinos keep moving. No matter what, we keep moving forward. We truly are unstoppable.