“Everything that’s happened in the world has been a reckoning for corporate America and certainly the media,” NBCUniversal SVP and chief talent officer Cara Stein says
Hollywood has seen a shakeup in the last two years in the wake of sexual harassment accusations and the subsequent #MeToo movement, so companies have been taking initiatives to make company culture better for all their employees.
“These are human issues — societal issues. We have to realize we’re in this together and get together, arm in arm and make a difference,” Dalana Brand, vice president of people experience an head of inclusion and diversity at Twitter, said Friday at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit in Santa Monica moderated by WME partner Nancy Josephson. “Our inclusion efforts try to reflect who we are as a company. We want to make them feel like they belong. What we do is have flock talks, where our employees who we call tweeps have the opportunity to have the conversation with leadership in the company and share their impact.”
Cara Stein, SVP and chief talent officer at NBCUniversal, added that “everything that’s happened in the world has been a reckoning for corporate America and certainly the media, and we’ve put laser focus on how to create a safe and respectable workforce, so that people have multiple ways to report something they don’t feel comfortable with.”
She added that NBCUniversal’s family-leave policy offers benefits that extend beyond the baby period and helps employees who take care of elderly parents, disabled kids or struggle to pay for their children’s education: “In a company, you have to look up and ask what’s going on in your life in all stages.” The company also puts aside three jobs every hiring cycle for people who have been out of the workforce to take care of kids.
AMC Networks Chief Transformation and People Officer Jennifer Caserta has seen “a real difference” at her organization. “We’ve made great improvements in the area — we’re a 50/50 company so I’m really proud. We are increasing our recruiting, hiring people who have diverse backgrounds and we’ve see an uptick in recruiting people in the past three years. We have a long way to go and we need to keep at it. It’s really just the beginning.”
Alicin Reidy, chief inclusion officer at Endeavor, agreed: “When do we get to say we’ve done some incredible work? What gets measured really gets down to how we’re harassing that energy around empower.”
Marva Smalls, who serves as EVP and global head of inclusion strategy at Viacom, also took part in the panel on Friday, and spoke to TheWrap’s CEO and Editor in Chief Sharon Waxman earlier this month about her ambitious initiative to create the culture of inclusion. “Here we at Viacom we believe in everyday inclusion, so it isn’t to suggest we are one week and done,” she said. “It was for us to create moments of authentic conversations with our employees. To have those ‘aha’ moments, to understand and begin to deal with disruption to your own biases that you may not even think about.”
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