VP, Diversity & Inclusion, Comcast Corp.
Arias leads a team that provides the entire governance structure, strategy and implementation oversight for Comcast’s diversity and inclusion strategy spanning Comcast corporate, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Recently, the company’s broad diversity strategy has led it to national accolades, including a DiversityInc Top 50 spot. Arias says she’s very proud of Rio Games athletes Simone Manuel, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Katie Ledecky and Allyson Felix as examples of strong role models of women sportscasters. “We need to continue to champion strong women in the media, and it’s a commitment that can never stop,” says Arias, who mentors both within and outside of Comcast.
What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?
I would tell my 13-year-old self that success comes in all shapes and sizes, and to focus on figuring out what you enjoy, not fitting a certain style or mold. I had my first job at 13, and I haven’t stopped working since. As an immigrant, like other immigrants, my focus early in my career was on becoming a doctor or a lawyer – and I became a lawyer. I had a great career in both private practice and corporate America. But, I knew I could do more. I love building great teams, and I’m incredibly instinctual…I can sense trends. I’ve used my skills to be a commercial litigator, a chief regulatory lawyer, a government affairs executive, a technical operations leader, a cable operations leader, and now I’ve built a best-in-class corporate diversity department and program. People and business are my sweet spot.
Which current programming best reflects the kind of women’s roles you like to see and why?
Fair and equal representation of women in the media is incredibly important, and it’s something we strive for every day at Comcast NBCUniversal. As a media company that influences the images people see every day, through our X1 platform and our NBCUniversal and Telemundo content, we have a responsibility to represent women in a way that is positive, accurate, and inspires young women and young men alike.
There are so many great shows that not only embrace diversity, but celebrate it. “Superstore” on NBC and “Mr. Robot” on USA, which feature incredibly talented women in leading roles, are changing the game and doing incredibly well with audiences. I’m also very proud of NBC’s coverage of the Rio Olympics, which featured inspiring women role models like Simone Biles, Simone Manuel, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Katie Ledecky and Allyson Felix. We need to continue to champion strong women in the media, and it’s a commitment that can never stop.
What’s been the biggest story in cable this year?
Voice-enabled technology is changing the way our customers interact with our products and our content. We launched the Xfinity Voice Remote last year, and that was just the beginning for us. We’re incredibly excited about the ways in which this technology, and others, will improve and enhance every aspect of our customers’ experience.