By Maria E. Brennan and Eglon E. Simons

In partnership, Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) and the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) have launched their biennial employment survey, measuring gender and ethnic diversity in the cable industry.

This research is unique to the cable industry and has had a significant impact by raising awareness about the importance of workforce diversity, while providing empirical data to inform key strategic decisions. As our consumer and employee base become increasingly diverse, our industry’s ability to attract and retain the best possible talent is ever more critical to profitability and sustainability. And since higher profitability and greater sustainability are undoubtedly among your company’s primary business goals, you should take part in the AIM/PAR survey.

The survey is being administered by Mercer, a global leader in talent development. Participating companies will receive a wealth of information— all confidential—to help inform their diversity and inclusion strategies. And because the Walter Kaitz Foundation is generously underwriting the cost, there is no charge for companies to participate.

The investment that companies will make is the staff time required to complete the survey; but there is much to be gained. Each participant will receive a custom report from Mercer to benchmark performance during the 2014 survey year and reflect the demographics of the key labor markets in which the company operates. In addition, for the first time Mercer representatives will be available post-survey for 60-minute private review sessions to further illuminate the findings from the confidential scorecards. Of particular significance to participating companies will be a customized Internal Labor Market (ILM) map generated by Mercer from current workforce data to project the movement of women and people of color throughout the organization over the next five years, and the subsequent impact on the diversity mix at key managerial levels. Participants in the 2013 joint survey have praised the ILM map as an invaluable workforce planning tool.

Created in 2003, WICT’s PAR Initiative has evolved into a comprehensive advocacy program that examines the status of women in cable based on three criteria critical to women’s success: Pay equity, Advancement opportunities and Resources for work/life integration. The value of WICT’s PAR Initiative continues to grow, with companies utilizing the collective research and resources to set goals, measure progress and adopt effective policies and programs.

NAMIC’s AIM (Advancement Investment Measurement) is the latest iteration of the association’s employment survey launched in 1999. Providing rich data central to understanding the state of multi-ethnic diversity in the cable telecommunications industry, NAMIC’s AIM is a key resource for sustaining the pipeline for professionals of color. NAMIC’s flagship education initiatives, the Executive Leadership Development Program and the Leadership Seminar are key outgrowths of the employment research.

The survey opened on January 29 and the data collection period will last until March 20. NAMIC and WICT will reveal the results of the survey in a joint Town Hall Meeting on September 29 as part of Diversity Week in New York. At that point, we will know if we have made progress since the last survey in 2013.

We urge all MSO’s, programmers and vendors to take part. After all, aren’t you striving to raise the diversity bar, while increasing profitability and ensuring the long term health of your company?

(Brennan is President & CEO of Women in Cable Telecommunications; Simons is President & CEO of NAMIC).

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