Diaz brings new meaning to “teamwork” at ESPN. She ensures the organization maintains a contemporary, healthy and flexible work environment that enables employees to contribute to their fullest potential. Her focus is on elevating the roles of women and minorities. Still, there is much work to be done in some areas. “Overall representation of people of color in the cable telecommunications industry generally increased over the past two years, while overall representation of women decreased,” Diaz says.
What grade do you give the cable industry on diversity and why?
When compared to national benchmarks, the cable industry fares better in the representation of people of color and women at both, the executive and senior level management and in hiring rates. The industry also fares better than the national benchmarks in overall employment representation and entry and mid-level representation of people of color. There is room for improvement on the representation of women in overall employment and entry and mid-level positions.
Overall representation of people of color in the cable telecommunications industry generally increased over the past two years while overall representation of women decreased. The cable industry outlook is for an increase in the representation of people of color at management levels, with a decline in the representation of women at management levels. The industry is committed to increasing multi-ethnic diversity, but needs to continue its commitment to diversity and to creating more opportunities for women. I will describe our current state as one of achievement, with opportunity for greater success.
What television show/s – cable or broadcast – best embrace diversity?
TV is incredibly diverse. In recent years, more audiences can look at their favorite shows and see characters, actors and storytelling that more closely reflect themselves. In cable television, ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” show, with Jessica Mendoza, ESPN’s first female baseball analyst. Mendoza gives the play-by-play, shares stats and tidbits about players and their lives. She’s the first woman in ESPN history to analyze a Major League Baseball game, and is a full-time member of ESPN’s three-person “Sunday Night Baseball” team, broadcasting live from the booth each week.
In broadcast television, the shows that best embrace diversity would be ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How to Get Away with Murder,” and the comedies “Blackish” and “Fresh Off the Boat,” about the experiences of black and Asian-American families. “Grey’s Anatomy” deserves a special recognition, because of the show’s longevity (now starting its 13th season) and its colorblind, open casting process, started by Shonda Rhimes in 2005. When Ms. Rhimes wrote the pilot, she didn’t specify the characters’ ethnicities, so her casting process was wide open. “Grey’s Anatomy” has won numerous awards, including Emmys, Golden Globes, GLAAD Media Awards and NAMIC Vision Awards.