Minorities are making progress in attaining upper-management positions, but they still have a long way to go before gaining full representation within the executive suites of cable companies, according to a new NAMIC employment report.
The report, "A Look Towards Advancement: Minority Employment In Cable II" — an update on the organization's 1999 survey — shows that minorities represent 7 percent of workers in key management positions of non-ethnically identified companies, calibrated from the senior vice president to the CEO level. That compares with the 5 percent reported in the 1999 survey.
Overall, 24 minorities are represented in those positions, 10 of whom are women. NAMIC president Patricia Andrews-Keenan said the numbers are encouraging and show the industry is making a concerted effort to advance minorities into upper-level management positions.
But she said more can be done, and warned against industry complacency in light of the management gains.
"There certainly has been progress, witnessed by the number of minorities that have moved up into upper-management positions," Andrews-Keenan said. "It doesn't negate the fact that a lot of things still need to be done and there's room for improvement."
The survey, which polled 14 cable companies representing 72 percent of the industry's work force, also concluded that among all minority groups, African-Americans have taken the greatest number of steps up the corporate ladder.
African-Americans represent 7 percent of MSO and 6 percent of non-ethnically-identified companies' key management positions, which closely reflect the group's 12.3 percent representation of the total U.S. population.
But while African-Americans have progressed, Hispanics have not yet made the same strides. Hispanics only represent 1 percent of executives at MSOs and at general, non-ethnically identified companies.
The survey, conducted by Horowitz Associates Inc.'s Surveys Limited, also polled NAMIC members, a majority of whom are concerned about the lack of minorities in upper management and a perceived lack of commitment to diversity among company managers.
Andrews-Keenan said mentoring and training leadership programs are tools that minorities are asking for within their own companies.
She also said it's important for companies to keep track of individual progress so the industry can gauge how much effort is needed to achieve the industry's diversity goals. Only 14 of 46 cable companies actually responded to the survey.