Q: What role does diversity play in Comcast NBCUniversal’s corporate social responsibility strategy?
David: From partnering with diverse organizations to empowering people with disabilities to increasing the number of women leaders across our company, our commitment to being the model company for diversity and inclusion has never been stronger.
We know diverse perspectives lead to innovative ideas and that the key to creating cutting-edge accessible technologies, television programming, movies, and entertainment experiences is maintaining an authentic and focused eye on the diverse communities we serve.
To be the best we can be, we strive to attract, develop, retain, and embrace a workforce that reflects the communities we serve. During the past few years, we have significantly increased our contracting activity with diverse suppliers. We’ve also increased our On Demand and online digital content offerings designed for African American, Asian American, and Hispanic communities.
Q: Where did Comcast NBCUniversal achieve the greatest citizenship-related impact in 2014?
David: Every one of our employees, whether they sit in the corporate boardroom or are on our front lines, understands why access to the Internet is so crucial to developing 21st-century life skills. With 30 percent of Americans lacking access to the Internet at home, closing the digital divide is the surest way we know to equalize opportunity for education, enable access to healthcare and employment opportunities, and provide a broad spectrum of news, information, and entertainment choices.
Through Internet EssentialsSM from Comcast, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive Internet adoption program, we are tackling the toughest part of the digital divide — reaching low-income families whose children need access to broadband service. We have connected more than 1.8 million Americans to the power of the Internet at home, and we are working hard to connect many more.
Together with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, in late 2014 we launched My.Future, an advanced technology skills curriculum that offers dozens of hands-on learning activities to equip students for success at school and in the job market.
A cornerstone of our new five-year agreement with Boys & Girls Clubs, My.Future is not just a digital literacy program; it is a cutting-edge technology education initiative designed to attract and keep children’s attention. My.Future does this through a personalized approach that is key to engaging young people in a digital environment. It also recognizes that children learn in different ways and at different speeds. Available to the 4 million youth served by 4,100 Boys & Girls Clubs annually, My.Future enables individual children to engage with the Internet at their own pace and to explore the areas most appealing to them.
Q: As the company’s senior executive overseeing corporate social responsibility, what motivates you personally about this work?
David: Almost everything I’ve been able to accomplish professionally has derived from my education.
This foundation is the driving force behind my efforts to combat the lack of equal educational opportunity that exists in too many communities. The incredible scale of Comcast NBCUniversal enables me to work with hundreds of high-impact nonprofit organizations, both on the national stage and in individual communities, to help open what had once been closed doors to many bright futures.
Q: Part of being a responsible corporate citizen is building trust with your consumers. Where does building trust fall within your citizenship priorities for 2015 and beyond?
David: When people use our products or enjoy our content, they are inviting us into their homes. We view this invitation as a privilege and believe our customers deserve an excellent experience. That is why we have made transforming the customer experience our top priority. We are reimagining everything, from how we speak with customers to how we leverage technology to make life easier for them. Customers are core to our business, and the way we interact with them individually on the phone, online, and in their homes is just as important to our success as any product we provide. Neil Smit, President and CEO of Comcast Cable, sums it up well: Customer service should be our best product. While change will not happen overnight, we are reexamining everything we do and are committed to getting this right.