Schroeder has two distinct roles at Altice USA. WICT’s 2019 Woman of the Year develops regulatory and legislative strategies and maintains relationships with government officials, plus she also leads the company’s diversity and inclusion program. In the first year of its D&I program, Altice already has launched seven affinity groups, all determined through employee feedback. “If we take the time to seek out candidates from diverse backgrounds, including women, we will find we can build teams that reflect the full spectrum of diversity that is needed to drive innovation, as well as our collective success,” she says.
What specifically does your company do to support and elevate the women who work there?
At Altice, we believe that creating connections between women at all levels of the organization is important to women feeling recognized and helping each other to evolve in our careers. Even informal opportunities – such as “brown bag lunches” where all women in a certain location are invited to talk with women in leadership – is a step toward creating these connections. We launched this lunch series in the Spring in our headquarters and are hoping to expand it to other regional offices based on the positive reception so far.
How can the industry do a better job of recruiting women and ensuring they have a path to senior positions?
First, each of us needs to take more personal responsibility to find women through our own networks and beyond. With the pace of business, sometimes the inclination is to hire the first qualified person. But, I believe if we take the time to seek out candidates from diverse backgrounds, including women, we will find we can build teams that reflect the full spectrum of diversity that is needed to drive innovation, as well as our collective success.
Which current shows best reflect the kind of women’s roles you like to see and why?
Honestly, I do not watch shows! However, I was so impressed and inspired by the women portrayed in the movie Hidden Figures. Those women not only took on gender bias but also racial discrimination, and they succeeded based on their expertise, their determination and the willingness of others to put aside their historical views. To make real progress, women need to perform and be their own advocates, but there also need to be leaders, both men and women, who support their advancement.