Cajigas’ task of consolidating and streamlining cross-company strategic planning functions and business operations into a well-oiled machine grew exponentially when SBS Nordic and Eurosport got added to the mix. For guidance, she looks to others—whether they know it or not. “From my team I am learning to capitalize on the value of having a wide range of perspectives on the same issue and how to find the delicate balance between the technically correct answer and the practical, actionable answer,” she says.

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

Diversity has become much broader than ethnicity, gender or race. It’s translating into diversity of perspectives, approaches, and life experiences. Forums (awards) like this list help foster diversity’s relevance and increase its profile. In general, the cable industry could do a better job of diversifying by tapping into a wider range of diverse talent from the entry level position and making sure there are opportunities for growth for those individuals. One realization that is key for further inclusiveness, is to internalize the notion that diversity isn’t about checking a box or being compliant with a quota, but understanding that having a diverse workforce actually supports the growth of your bottom line, since the population that cable (or any industry for that matter) is serving is becoming increasingly more diverse and who can better understand the needs and preference of a customer than a representative sample of that customer base?

Who has been your strongest mentor, and why

I have had different ones through different stages of my career. Some know they are my mentors and some don’t! Right now, I try to learn specific abilities from different people around me. For example, I learn an incredible amount from my current boss and his ability to stay level headed and to make people feel he is invested in them. Every day, I also try to emulate the head of our TLC/Animal Planet group, Marjorie Kaplan.  She inspires teams and really makes them come together to be more than the sum of their individual roles. And from my team, I am learning to capitalize on the value of having a wide range of perspectives on the same issue and how to find the delicate balance between the technically correct answer and the practical, actionable answer.

What qualities do you look for when making a new hire? I look for the “technical” skills that fit the type of work we do, i.e. the ability to structure problems, strategic thinking, analytics, communication and stakeholder management; those get you through the door. To actually decide on a final candidate, I weigh those against “personality fit”, which is more intangible and it basically means, will this person fit the culture of our group and company? Will he/she enrich it? And, will we be able to enrich the person? The latter one is harder to identify/measure and in my experience makes the difference between a good candidate and an exceptional candidate.

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