In nearly all the best companies in cable, diversity is more than a one-week-per-year string of meetings in New York City. Representatives of many of those companies grace our list of the Most Influential Minorities in Cable in this issue.
Diversity also is more than a very crowded fund-raising dinner. (Although a crowded ballroom isn’t bad.) Unlike some diversity events, where tables are bought but sit empty, Kaitz pulls a crowd. But does diversity fill the seats? Is it the schmooze factor or the need to get hotel food into one’s system as a buffer against those legendary after-parties?
At Cox, diversity is a council of senior executives who make certain the MSO is inclusive. Other programmers and operators behave similarly. Good thing. As Comcast’s SVP of human resources Charisse Lillie pointed out recently, the workforce will be more diverse than ever by 2014 (see CableWorld, Aug. 27 at cable360.net). Hispanics, growing the fastest, will increase by 34%, while growth in women workers will best men. Asian- and African-American labor cohorts will jump 19% and 7%, respectively.
A facet of diversity — attracting diverse customers — can be seen in this issue, where we profile first-place winners of NAMIC’s Excellence in Multicultural Marketing Awards. While entries were up 25%, as was quality, we wonder whether cable is emphasizing multicultural marketing enough. Many of the winning campaigns you’ll read about were staffed by just a few people. In light of the above statistics, this can’t work much longer.
Diversity is also about different ages. Cable is a leader in attracting kids — just look at the ratings page in this issue. On the flip side, Nielsen’s most recent national universe estimates argue that cable can’t afford to ignore adults 55-64 since it’s one of the few demos that’s growing, and fast. Retirement Living TV can help there (see CableWorld, Dec. 16, ’06 at cable360.net).
To keep diversity top of mind, or at least as a monthly reminder, we have been running our Diversity column each month. Reader reaction has been strong, so we will continue with it. We encourage authors to submit proposals. This issue’s Diversity column blasts cable for doing too little to attract young talent. Diversity is critical for young workers, and the telcos know this well, NAMIC chief Kathy Johnson writes. In her eponymous column, Marianne Paskowski salutes cable for its diverse outreach. Contrasting ideas? Good. That’s diversity, too.