A few years ago on International Women’s Day, Nicole Strong sent out an email to some of her colleagues, suggesting they all gather on the steps outside of National Geographic headquarters to take a photo. The email was forwarded to more and more women, resulting in over 100 in the final photo.
For the next two years, the International Women’s Day tradition continued, organized by National Geographic’s Women@NatGeo Business Employee Resource Group.
As for her day job, Nicole writes and produces trailers and promos for National Geographic’s programming campaigns. She previously wrote and produced for Travel Channel and E! Entertainment Network.
Nicole began her career at the FOX affiliate in Wilmington, N.C., as a Creative Director for local commercials and Fox Kids Club lead. In Wilmington, she also worked as a stand-in and extra on the show “Dawson’s Creek.”
1. You are the mastermind who began the tradition of gathering National Geographic staff together to take a photo on International Women’s Day. What was your original motivation to do this?
It was somewhat spontaneous but the power of so many smart, strong, representative women showing up at one workplace on IWD in the heart of our nation’s capital suddenly hit me and I thought, let’s document this. Plus, I had a cute blazer on that day.
2. You’ve had an impressive career in television. What advice would you give someone just starting out in the television industry?
Seek out mentors and hold the door for the next gal as you evolve. Ask to take potential employers or people you admire out for a coffee and pick their brains. Tune out naysayers, including any dissuading voices in your head and go after what gets you up and excited in the morning. You shouldn’t have it all figured out by 24 and it’s okay to switch things up at any stage of your life. You’re writing your story; no one else is.
3. It’s Women’s History Month and your last name is Strong, so the question must be asked: Who are the strongest women you know?
My mother is equal parts grace and steel; my sister, Noelle, went to West Point and turned down Olympic Team Handball recruits to attend helicopter flight school; she’s now an EMT. My stepdaughter, Riley, leads with compassion and wit and inspires me daily. And my best friend, AnChi, has gone through hell and back these past couple of years and it’s only galvanized her faith. I am surrounded by a pantheon of Valkyries.
4. We heard a rumor that you started cutting hair for family and friends during quarantine. Can you confirm or deny?
Not only can I confirm, it’s my new backup plan, if my career in television ever falls through.
5. After working from home for the past year due to the pandemic, what has been the silver lining for you?
The slow down. My husband is my favorite person to hang out with, so that’s fun. Watching my little boy become a big little boy. And no commute!