In recognition of International Women’s Day, NEP is celebrating women’s achievements in the broadcast and live events industries around the world all month long. Historically, these industries have included few women due to the lack of active outreach by employers and the resulting lack of awareness among women about the types of roles that were available. Over the years, we have seen a rising movement of women taking on more roles in events; however, gender diversity within the industry is still low.
We at NEP know there are amazing professional opportunities and career paths for all, as evidenced by some of our inspiring female leaders and employees working in key roles throughout our global divisions. Today, we highlight the success and accomplishments of Deb Honkus, Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus of NEP. We hope to help inspire more women to consider a career path in broadcasting and live events. If you or someone you know is interested in applying to NEP, make sure to visit https://www.nepgroup.com/career/careers#openings to view all of our current openings.
Debra (Deb) Honkus is Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus of NEP. An industry veteran, Deb is recognized for her leadership at NEP and for paving the way for more women to enjoy successful careers in the broadcast technology industry. In the early days of her career, Deb served as the General Manager of Total Communications Systems (TCS) from 1978 until TCS' merger with NEP in 1988, at which time she joined NEP. At NEP, she has served in the roles of Chairman of NEP's Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer, President, Vice President and General Manager.
Deb has received numerous awards, accolades and recognition for her work in broadcast, including Ernst & Young Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia Region Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2001) and five Sports Emmys (1992, 1993, 1995, 1996 and 2010). In 2011, she was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame and the Broadcasting & Cable Women in the Game Award. In 2012, she was the recipient of the Goldman Sachs 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs, the Pittsburgh Business Times Women in Business Award, and the Broadcasting & Cable Technology Leadership Award.
Last year, Deb was highlighted in SVG's, Legends Behind the Lens, a series featuring stories of people whose impact on the sports-television industry is unforgettable. To view Deb's story, visit https://www.sportsvideo.org/2020/06/29/legends-behind-the-lens-deb-honkus/.
What do you consider to be the most significant achievement(s) of your career so far?
“Building a fantastic team of talented loyal staff over the years which enabled NEP to continue to grow as well as build & develop relationships with networks, clients, freelancers and on-site staff at remote locations all over the world.”
Can you see any signs that the historical gender imbalance in the industry may be starting to shift?
“Yes, it has been slowly shifting as women venture into new roles as well as additional training available now that wasn’t back in my days, (not just for women but men also).”
What is your advice for women who are looking to get into the industry?
“Work hard, be driven to learn and most of all love what you do.”