SVP, Regulatory & State Legislative Affairs, Comcast

Zachem leads Comcast’s advocacy before federal agencies including the FCC, and state regulatory and legislative bodies. She’s spoken before the Women’s Bar Association’s Communications Law Forum, as part of a panel on the ways Washington’s most experienced women lawyers are attracting and retaining clients within the communications industry. Speaking of the nation’s capital, Zachem says she’d like to see more characters on TV who are like political troubleshooter Olivia Pope. “A female lead, who, while complicated, as many of us are, is confident and strong and not afraid to make decisions wherever those decisions might take her,” she says.

Which sector of the cable industry best demonstrates gender equality? Which could use some enlightenment?

The senior leadership level in Communications, Legal and Government Affairs, Human Resources and Administration throughout the cable industry is filled with talented women who contribute a great deal to their companies and are valuable leaders. These roles require patience, intelligence, good judgment, attention to detail, organization, the ability to juggle and a know-how about human nature.  Woman in these roles have proven they can lead, be strategic and thrive. More and more women are also leading business units and have bottom-line responsibility for financial performance – more of that is deserving. And like many industries – more gender equality is needed in engineering, finance and most importantly, in the C-suite.

What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?

Say “yes” more often – try new things, step out of your comfort zone, and take on the project that scares you – these often lead to newfound interests and finding talent you did not know you had.

Which current programming best reflects the kind of women’s roles you like to see and why?

We need more Olivia Pope (“Scandal”) characters – a female lead, who, while complicated, as many of us are, is confident and strong and not afraid to make decisions wherever those decisions might take her – all while ruling the fashion world in beautiful clothes and shoes!  Doesn’t get much better than that.

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