In addition to her primary duties, Cornileus also serves as an adviser to senior management. She has spoken at the Society for Human Resources Management and acted as a volunteer for Hands-On Atlanta and My Sister’s House. Diversity, she says, “is the awareness, understanding, appreciation, and inclusion of those differences that make diversity within organizations a competitive advantage.”

What’s your biggest professional accomplishment in the past 12 months?

For the past year, in addition to my responsibilities leading ESPN’s talent management, learning and organization development functions, I took on HR business partner responsibilities for the Technology division. In this role, I work as the strategic advisor to the chief technology officer and his leadership team, advising on large-scale change initiatives and people priorities for this organization of over 1000 employees.

Best business advice you’ve received?

Early in my career, one of my mentors encouraged me to always be a student of the business and to see myself as a business leader first and a human resource professional second. That has served me well in establishing credibility and influence with line business leaders. As a result, I have a voice and consult on both strategic business and people priorities.

How do you define diversity?

In its simplest form, diversity means “difference.” It is the awareness, understanding, appreciation, and inclusion of those differences that make diversity within organizations a competitive advantage. Diversity of people, cultures, perspectives, products, services, etc. provide a wealth of opportunity for our companies, our nation, and our world. The cable industry has a great opportunity to demonstrate inclusiveness beginning with who is invited to participate in strategy and product development, decision making at the highest levels. If that team of people is diverse and the environment is inclusive, then the products and services will reflect the diversity of the audiences the industry serves.

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