In our Generation W Profiles series, we highlight influential women
Geraldine Laybourne used her passion for youth education to forge a career in children's television with the Nickelodeon and Disney networks. She is also a creator of the women's network Oxygen.
“I saw what a big hole there was in the marketplace for young women," she says. "At the same time, my daughter was 22, and I asked her to write a white paper about what you could do as a young woman’s network. She wrote this great white paper that was, “Please, mom, create a place where women don’t have to shrink to fit and where they can be themselves and have their own sense of humor.”
She also says there are more opportunities for women in the media field now than when she began her career.
“The other thing that I’m excited about right now for young women who want to get into the media is there are so many ways to do this and so many to get in where there are no barriers to entry," she says.
Laybourne says children have been a motivational force throughout her career.
“I happen to be passionate about helping kids develop a sense of humor because that is the only thing that anybody's been able to correlate with success in later life," she says, "and I’m on a mission to help kids be creative and funny and playing; that’s how they learn ... that's my personal passion, but I think people have to identify what they really are passionate about because work takes up so much time today, and you really should be working on something that you’re tremendously passionate about.”
Generation W Profiles are a collaboration between WJCT and the Generation W Women’s Leadership Conference.