Davis just celebrated his milestone 30th year at CNN this past June, and it was a good one. He guided his sales team to one of the most profitable years in CNN Newsource, and will continue to make sure the net has coverage options during the upcoming election cycle. The member of the Turner Disabilities Resource Group praises CNN for the opportunities it affords for employee involvement. “CNN president Jeff Zucker hosts monthly town hall sessions,” he says. “He allows employees to ask any questions they want, and he answers them.”
What does your company/organization do to ensure all employees feel included?
CNN president Jeff Zucker hosts monthly town hall sessions. He allows employees to ask any questions they want, and he answers them. Even if the answers aren’t necessarily what we’d like to hear. The company also provides opportunities for employee involvement in improving the company through its Business Resource Group. I’m currently on the Turner Disabilities Resource Group, and I’ve also participated in the Turner Black Professionals Group.
How can diversity be better incorporated into the recruiting process?
I’ve always been a fan of not only racial diversity, but also on socio economic diversity. Companies tend to think that hiring from what they deem to be the best colleges in the country is the way to go, but I also think companies should look closer at hiring people who come be state universities, community colleges etc. I also look to see what other types of experiences a potential employee has. Did they work their way through college? What organizations have they participated in? Are they involved in their communities etc.? By expanding the criteria, I feel you can identify a more well rounded candidate.
Can you share a successful diversity program at your company or one you’ve observed at another company or organization?
I think the efforts of the Turner Black Professionals group is a real inspiration for how to be an effective group. We really worked hard at connecting executive level employees and more entry level employees together. Navigating through a large company can be daunting, and the support, guidance and access to information can make all the difference for helping employees succeed. I think this also helps with retention of talented employees if you make them feel valued.
What questions is the industry not yet asking in its efforts to be more diverse and inclusive that it should be?
I think the biggest question that should be asked is “are we being courageous enough to make decisions outside of our comfort zone?” Many times, people make hiring decisions based on familiarity, when hiring and including people from unfamiliar backgrounds can be the way you really propel a company forward, bring new ideas and new perspectives to the workplace.
Which current television show/s best embrace diversity?
I like the show “Killing Eve.” The cast is diverse, the plots are always surprising and you see characters in a unique way. The protagonist and the antagonist characters all have depth.