Overseeing Discovery’s International and U.S. networks’ HR functions, Hawkins understands diversity’s impact. Whether a position is in his department or elsewhere in the company, Hawkins looks for the same traits. “The ideal candidate should bring a diversity of ideas while demonstrating learning agility, curiosity, leadership acumen, excellent judgment, passion, and the ability to work collaboratively. When our workforce embodies these characteristics, the whole cable industry benefits.”

What’s the definition of diversity in 2014, and how can the cable industry do better in the area of inclusiveness?

Traditional definitions of diversity in the US are no longer fully comprehensive.  The definition of diversity today must be broad enough to encompass nonvisible dimensions of diversity including LGBT, Veterans, disabled, work-styles, socio-economic backgrounds, personalities and generational differences.

Identifying and meeting the needs of cross-generational diversity is key to the health and success of your organization.

To create a more inclusive work environment, companies must adopt an infrastructure and culture that supports a broad definition of diversity, including the diversity of thought and ideas.

Who has been your strongest mentor, and why?

My mentors have come from diverse areas; some have been quite personally involved in my life, while others inspired me from afar.  As I look back at all of those who have influenced who I am today, I see similar characteristics of courage, conviction and a willingness to share personal triumphs and vulnerabilities.  I think of these mentors as powerful because they demonstrated an awareness and willingness to share their strengths and weaknesses.  When the mentor is transparent about his or her own experiences, both positive and challenging, the mentee truly learns.

My strongest mentors also inspire those around them to give back to the community and serve as mentors for others

What qualities do you look for when making a new hire?

Technical competence is the point of departure: it is the baseline. The ideal candidate should also bring a diversity of ideas while demonstrating learning agility, curiosity, leadership acumen, excellent judgment, passion, and the ability to work collaboratively.  When our workforce embodies these characteristics, the whole cable industry benefits.

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