Murphy in 2017 took on her new role and has led her team of more than 150 professionals to drive growth by offering products and services that scale from small businesses to large enterprises. She also led the creation of the Keystone Region’s Diversity Inclusion Council, the first within the company’s Northeast Division, and served as executive champion for the Keystone Region’s Black Employee Network. Murphy says the industry needs to focus on offering an avenue of distribution to a more diverse field of writers and producers. “And even within the framework of ‘minority’ talent, we need to make a more concerted effort to widen the net to include representation from Native American, Asian and Latino creators,” she notes.
A February 2018 UCLA study revealed that of the 45 new scripted shows approved for 2017-18 across broadcast, cable and digital platforms, only four were from creators of color, all of whom were black. What is your reaction to this report?
While this is disappointing to hear, I believe we need to keep our eyes set on giving more diverse writers and producers, who are developing amazing original content, an avenue for distribution. And even within the framework of “minority” talent, we need to make a more concerted effort to widen the net to include representation from Native American, Asian and Latino creators.
What’s a recent example of a step forward for diversity in the industry?
Right now, more than half of Comcast’s 164,000 employees report to either a woman or a person of color. I know for me personally, as the only African American millennial woman to hold a P&L in our company, we are making strides, but the work isn’t finished. This is something our talent group focuses on not just with hiring but throughout an employee’s career.
In what areas should the industry step up its efforts with regard to diversity and inclusion?
There needs to be greater representation of persons of color on corporate boards and we need to widen the net beyond “minority,” to include as many nuances in that category as possible. Of particular concern to me is the rate at which African-American women are reaching a concrete ceiling. While some companies make an effort to place minority applicants in human resources, marketing and on diversity councils, we need to see them as heads of technology, aligning them to where the growth strategy is in the business and giving them P&L responsibility.