News

Minority Hiring Strong, Except CEOs

9/12/1999 8:00 PM Eastern

The cable industry provides employment opportunities for
minorities, but not at the CEO and executive vice president level, according to a new
survey commissioned by the National Association of Minorities in Communications.

The report -- prepared by Surveys Unlimited, a division of
Horowitz Associates Inc. -- showed some positives for minority employment within cable.
Minorities represent about 30 percent of the cable industry -- equal to their
representation in the general population and higher than their representation in the work
force (26 percent).

Where cable falls short, however, is in the number of
minorities in executive positions. Minority representation in general at
"non-ethnically identified" companies -- eliminating companies that deliver
ethnic-targeted services, such as some programmers -- is about 5 percent for senior vice
president to CEO positions, according to the report.

Broken down further, only 12 minorities occupy such
positions, and nine of the 12 are men.

At the MSO level, minority representation is about 7
percent for positions in the same upper-management categories.

In management positions from the level of director to
corporate vice president, minority representation is approximately 13 percent for general,
non-ethnic-specific companies and 11 percent for MSOs.

"The industry has made a lot of progress compared to a
lot of other industries, and there is a very high percentage of people of color working in
the cable industry -- higher than the general work force," NAMIC president Joe Lawson
said. "But as you move up the ladder into management positions, minorities are
severely underrepresented."

He added, "What this means is that there is a large
pool of people within the industry that can be promoted internally. This presents a
wonderful opportunity for the industry to meet its diversity goals."

Further, a survey of NAMIC members found that nearly two
out of five could cite some form of social or business discrimination at their company,
and one out of five feels perceived discrimination on a consistent basis.

Also, one out of five perceives discrimination in company
policies and practices with respect to industry conferences, training programs, social
networks and career opportunities.

Further study findings showed that 85 percent of NAMIC
respondents expressed interest in participating in a NAMIC-sponsored executive-management
program.

"There is a strong desire among NAMIC members to move
up and get the tools necessary to make the move up the corporate ladder," Lawson
said.

He hopes the industry will use the report as a complement
to its business practices, much like similar reports from Women in Cable &
Telecommunications.

"What our report is designed to do is to provide a
snapshot of minority employment, and it helps to serve as a benchmark for the
industry," Lawson said. "We believe that most industry leaders fully endorse the
report, and we need to continue to work toward diversity within the industry."

NAMIC will release further results from the report during
its annual conference in New York this week.

The conference -- "The Telecommunications Matrix:
Convergence, Consolidation, Competition" -- focuses on strategies and tactics for
providing all citizens with access to technical innovation, regardless of their
geographical or cultural orientations, NAMIC executives said.

NAMIC executive director Kathy Johnson said conference
attendance would surpass last year's total of more than 300, and it could approach 500.

Keynote speakers at the conference include Federal
Communications Commission chairman William Kennard, Univision host Cristina Saralegui,
Rainbow/PUSH Coalition president the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Encore Media Group chairman
and CEO John Sie.

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