Colleen Schmidt

Now that Altice USA is independent of its parent company, Schmidt is concentrating on refining HR’s role in creating a corporate culture that reflects the company’s motto: Fearless Reinvention. She says looking beyond risk-mitigation aspects of the Me Too movement means insisting on equal and respectful treatment for all. “[Then] we will have a more engaged and motivating environment in which employees and people in general can contribute their best and thrive.”

What are your thoughts on the industry’s current response to the Me Too movement, and its treatment of men who have been accused of sexual harassing and/or assaulting women and men? Are there other steps you feel should be taken?
While the Me Too movement was created in 2006, the spark that brought it into the national and worldwide arena was in large part a result of the high-profile cases coming out of the media industry. While unfortunate that it took so long for the industry to acknowledge and start addressing this issue, as a whole the industry is now conscious of the issue and actively seeking to address it. To truly move past it, we need to move beyond a risk mitigation reason for addressing the problem, and expect and embrace that through equal and respectful treatment of all, whether gender-focused or other, we will have a more engaged and motivating environment in which employees and people in general can contribute their best and thrive.

Who is an inspirational woman you admire, and why?
Malala Yousafzai. She is showing the world, and the next generation of women, that with passion, courage, authenticity and the unwavering belief in something, no matter what the personal cost, you can truly change the world.

What’s been the most dramatic change in your sector of the business today vs. three years ago?
Speed at which convergence is occurring across previously discrete sectors of the market—including technologies, ubiquitous coverage, data as a differentiator, and consolidation of companies themselves.

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