We wanted to shine a spotlight on Comcast NBCUniversal, who are fully committed to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Comcast NBCUniversal have pledged $100million over the next three years towards addressing systemic racism and inequality globally.
One of their initiatives, the Black Employee Network (BEN), is a safe space for Black employees to talk and share their experiences in life and in the workplace. It is a space that allows employees to feel less alone, providing both an outlet and community to discuss things that many people of colour do not feel comfortable discussing in other places.
‘Black Employees Network UK was created through the passion and vision of our employees at a seminal moment in cultural history. Driven by our people, this highly engaged and motivated movement is set to expand throughout our infrastructure.’
Ashley Marshall, an HR Lead at NBC News, shared her thoughts with us on ‘Leading With Intention: Removing Bias From Business’ and was the person who first brought our attention to the Black Employee Network. Ashley was able to give further insight to us, in terms of just what BEN provides for their employees; a big driving force being that it offers a sense of community. The sense of community has become a resource for everyone who is a part of it as ‘when you’re surrounded by community it makes the difficult more tenable - employees now have a space to sound off on how best to have difficult conversations with their managers’.
Comcast NBCUniversal are not just talking about what they plan to do for D,E &I, rather they are taking physical and measurable action to work towards impactful change for the positive.
“For me, BEN UK goes far beyond providing Black employees and allies in the UK a home to share common interests and discuss issues and concerns, it’s a forum to inspire each other, create new connections and enhance all of our careers at NBCUniversal”
John Casey, President & Managing Director CNBC International, BEN Executive Sponsor
“Being invited to be an executive sponsor for BEN UK has been a fantastic opportunity to educate, support and inspire myself, other black employees our allies, to learn, grow and improve our chances of shifting the dial on the DEI challenges we all face in an actionable, practical and fulfilling way. It has been a privilege to contribute.”
Gilbert Strachan, SVP, International Media Operations
BEN regularly meets with HR to discuss key things such as building a better rapport with the HR team and making sure Black employees know who their HR manager is. When employees have a space that is intentional for them which is safe, the impact is that they naturally do better at work. BEN hold calls such as ‘Make Your Voice Heard’ which allows employees of Black heritage who are part of the network to share stories, get feedback and advice.
‘Our most powerful tools are our voices and our stories. I believe that by telling our own personal story, we are able to bring about understanding, create empathy and foster inclusivity amongst our colleagues and within our communities that helps to dismantle behaviors of oppression, exclusion and inequity. The BEN London chapter is a safe space for people to share their stories, educate and lift each other up. It is a privilege to contribute to this important work’.
Hoai Scott, SVP, Human Resources Universal Filmed Entertainment, BEN Executive Sponsor
Comcast NBCUniversal are leading the gold standard for other corporations to follow suit and say ‘By understanding and celebrating diversity, we see Diversity, Equity & Inclusion as not just a program or a department, but as a philosophy and a core business imperative ’.
Organisations who take real action in their commitment to D,E & I are the ones who act as catalysts for other businesses to hold themselves accountable. It is one thing to talk about what your future of work looks like but it is entirely something different when you take action and integrate D, E & I into the core of the business infrastructure.