September 16, 2010 - 6:30 am
By Mignon Clyburn | Commissioner

I just spent 2.5 days in New York City focusing on cable TV as the industry celebrated Diversity Week. I had the pleasure of meeting with the Board of the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Cable - NAMIC, a 30-year old organization that promotes diversity in the cable industry by emphasizing diversity as a business strategy with their focus on programming, marketing, operations, technology, and leadership. They also provide training, awards, grants, mentoring, and guidance and networking opportunities.

Early Tuesday morning, I attended NAMIC's breakfast meeting where this year's Most Influential Minorities in Cable were recognized. I also learned about NAMIC's Executive Leadership Development Program from a most successful panel of graduates, and heard from several second generation NAMIC Board members who are carrying on their parents' tradition in the cable industry by working to increase opportunities for minorities and women in the creation, distribution, and marketing of cable programming. I was honored to present the keynote address at the morning session during the 24th Annual Conference entitled 3D: Diversity, Digital, Demographics.

An hour later, I had the opportunity to join an impressive group of women on a panel at the Women in Cable Telecommunications' Conference. Luckily, it was right down the hall from NAMIC. Each of these women is a remarkable leader in her field, and they were all willing to share their personal experiences and tips for success. We shared a wide range of stories from the most heart-breaking to the side-splitting. I think we all learned something about the challenges and rewards of being a woman in industries that had not initially welcomed us as participants, but where we have managed to make inroads to become leaders in our respective fields.

My whirlwind tour also included a trip to the Bronx to visit the call center for a major cable operator serving the New York metropolitan area. I was impressed to see a truly paperless workplace in action, with a team answering customer calls throughout the metropolitan area, from Connecticut to Long Island. I took it all in as we have been exploring ways to make my personal office as paperless as possible.

Our hosts at each location were gracious, and we learned quite a lot about the cable business in every aspect. And of course, it was the Big Apple, so there was traffic, and crowds, and a few delays, and some great food... and did I mention the traffic?

Many thanks to our hosts, and congratulations to NAMIC and WICT for another successful and beneficial Diversity Week.