Maria G. Arias
Comcast Corporation Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion
Headquarters: Philadelphia, PA
Business: Media & Technology
CEO: Brian Roberts
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION BUSINESS ADVANTAGE AT COMCAST NBCUNIVERSAL
As a world leader in media and technology, Comcast NBCUniversal drove a fundamental shift in the way diversity and inclusion is viewed throughout the company. With D&I embedded in its culture, the company puts its principles into practice daily with a focus on the audience and the future.
“We recognize and celebrate diversity and inclusion, which is at the very heart of our culture, and we view it as a strategic business advantage,” said Comcast Corporation Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Maria G. Arias. Under her leadership, the company has made the business case for D&I by working in close partnership with business leaders and leveraging the perspectives of diverse employees through employee resource groups. “At a company like ours, gaining credibility and support means that we can do so much more,” Arias said.
The company’s success spans a broad range of D&I initiatives, and it was recently recognized for its leadership when it developed unique digital technology offerings for people with disabilities. Last year, Comcast was honored with an American Foundation for the Blind 2015 Access Award, given annually to corporations and organizations that eliminate or reduce inequities faced by people with vision loss.
LEVERAGING EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS
What began as a key value has evolved into a competitive business advantage for the company. “We’re committed to making our products and services more accessible to all people. This includes the nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population who self-identify as having a disability,” Arias said.
By leveraging the company’s employee resource group, developers gained valuable insights from the company’s Abilities Network. “Inclusion is at the heart of innovation, and our employees with disabilities were the ideal focus group for developing and testing our voice control remote,” she said. The device is part of the company’s X1 Entertainment Operating System, and includes the industry’s first voice guided remote that gives customers with disabilities a user-friendly experience to explore TV shows and movies.
ROADMAP OF INITIATIVES
Throughout the company, D&I initiatives and progress are regularly communicated to employees through a monthly digital newsletter, quarterly newsletter videos, blogs, and a variety of articles published both internally and externally. The company also publishes an annual report covering the company’s D&I initiatives in governance, workforce, procurement, community investment, and accessibility.
At Comcast NBCUniversal it’s not just about moving a business forward, but moving people forward.
HIGHLIGHTS OF COMCAST NBCUNIVERSAL’S RECENT D&I RECOGNITION INCLUDE:
- Profiles in Diversity Journal – Diversity Leader Award
- U.S. Business Leadership Network / American Association of People with Disabilities’ – 100 percent score Disability Equality Index
- Black Enterprise – Best Companies for Diversity
- HRC Corporate Equality Index – Rating of 100
- GI Jobs Magazine – Top 100 Military Friendly Employers
- National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development – Corporate Advocate of the Year
- LATINA Style 50 Report – Company of the Year
- The Legal Intelligencer – Best In-House Legal Departments of the Year for diversity
- Profiles in Diversity Journal – 25 Most Influential Companies for Veteran Hiring
- The American Association of People with Disabilities – Corporate Leadership Award
- Associated Services for the Blind – Corporate Recognition Award
- American Foundation for the Blind – Access Award
- Billion Dollar Round Table – Corporations that spend at least $1 billion with minority – owned and woman-owned suppliers.
- Black Enterprise – 35 Top Companies for Supplier Diversity