My Comcast family can attest that I am not a shy communicator. I talk with my hands when I get excited, and I challenge my teams to vocalize their ideas and be open to resounding support or a "prove it to me" reaction.
When I learned that LATINA Style named Comcast the "Company of the Year," true to form, I cheered out loud. I was filled with pride that a leading publication for the Latino community agreed with my own perspective – that Comcast is, indeed, one of the best places to work for Latinas.
So much of who I am is influenced by being a Latina. I am the daughter of a Cuban father and a Puerto Rican mother. The Soto household was traditional Latino; staple Sunday dinners full of comidas tipicas and endless conversation on politics, dreams and community.
My supportive family encouraged my goal to pursue a career in technology, a field where Latinas are frequent end users, but still a rare sighting in the board room or engineering plants. They also challenged me to commit to a "togetherness" spirit; to use my achievements to help others reach their goals.
When I joined Comcast in 2009 as Senior Vice President for Comcast's National Engineering & Technical Operations (NETO), I became the Company's highest ranking Latina, and the first Latina (or Latino) to oversee Comcast's customer data and network security, technology risk management, customer privacy, regulatory compliance, among other areas.
I have the pleasure of collaborating with and leading teams of people who look, think, and create in ways that are similar and also dissimilar to me. I use this to my team's advantage and leverage each member's strengths to forge new ideas for products, programs and services while championing Comcast's culture of fairness, respect and inclusion.
I also serve on NETO's inclusion council, one of five diversity and inclusion councils at Comcast and NBCUniversal, each designed to hold leadership across the company accountable for strategizing on how we enhance diversity in every area of our business; from our Board of Directors to our workforce and supply chains; from our cross-platform programming to our philanthropic initiatives. We've succeeded on a number of fronts, particularly in enhancing our diversity numbers within our entry to Director-level ranks. But we aren't resting on our laurels. We're determining the best ways to recruit and retain more women, especially Latinas, at Vice President-level and above positions.
Our council's slogan, "together we are better," perfectly captures two strengths: Comcast's internal commitment to growing diverse talent, and our external commitment to uniting with community partners, particularly within the Latino youth community, to promote digital literacy training and interest in technology and engineering careers. I am thrilled that Comcast sponsors meaningful community outreach programs like Internet Essentials, Digital Connectors, and FIRST Robotics, which help to close the digital divide and inspire young people to embrace life-changing technologies.
As an Executive Sponsor of Somos Comcastico, Comcast's affinity group promoting the interests of our Latino workforce and customers, I mentor several young Latina professionals entering technology and engineering careers. I strongly encourage my mentees to take a "can do" approach and confidently chase their dreams. I tell them my story and am honest about the challenges and opportunities I encountered along my path to success. I tell them with all sincerity that I will support them and that we're in it together. Most importantly, I remind them of where we work...at a company that's wholeheartedly committed to championing Latina professionals and the Latino community.
¡Adelante, Comcast! ¡Felicitaciones!