In June, Mabry was promoted to his new role and now oversees all global programming for CNN Digital Worldwide, including all mobile and off-platform efforts. Heading into 2020, Mabry will certainly have a lot on his plate covering the elections on all 35 of CNN’s platforms. At CNN, Mabry is an active mentor for diverse colleagues. “It’s critically important to employ diverse recruiters, to seek candidates in diverse places and to seek qualified candidates in non-traditional places,” he says.
What does your company/organization do to ensure all employees feel included?
We do a lot of training, up and down the organization. We ask managers and people leaders to be sensitive to who feels included when and who might not; and to be aware of whom they include when—from who speaks at meetings to who gets the choicest assignments. We teach that inclusion isn’t a one-time thing you check off a list. It has to be a mindset, a whole way of approaching your work, your team and your journalism.
How can diversity be better incorporated into the recruiting process?
It’s critically important to employ diverse recruiters, to seek candidates in diverse places and to seek qualified candidates in non-traditional places where the skill sets are the same as what you need, even if the kind of work or even the industry is different. You can also require seeing diverse candidates, and not just tokens but qualified diverse candidates.
Can you share a successful diversity program at your company or one you’ve observed at another company or organization?
One of my favorites is one we have at CNN currently called Conscious Inclusion. It meets most people where they are—from the woke to barely awake. I’ve seen some very cynical or jaded employees be moved and reached by this program. And inclusion has to be conscious. It is not something that happens automatically, even in diverse communities. And most companies are not diverse.
What questions is the industry not yet asking in its efforts to be more diverse and inclusive that it should be?
Why are we so miserably bad at it? What are the blockers to improvement? What are the fears and questions that employees have that they are afraid to ask? What is our concrete action plan to be better? How will we be held accountable?
Which current television show/s best embrace diversity?
“CNN Tonight with Don Lemon,” “United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell,” “The Van Jones Show,” “This is Life with Lisa Ling,” “Pose,” ”Black-ish,” “Fresh Off The Boat,” “Modern Family,” “This is Us”