Craig Robinson: Embracing All Voices
As Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of NBCUniversal, Craig Robinson works to define and build a culture that embraces and values diversity in its workforce, culture, content, and perspectives. Robinson was recently featured in Out Magazine’s Out100 2021 list. Read excerpts from the profile and learn more about him below.
Q: What inspired the company’s three-year, $100 million commitment to advancing social justice and equality through programs, partnerships, and a new employee education series?
A: “We made a commitment to our employees that we would pay attention to this watershed moment in our society and commit to real change in everything that we do. Gaining and sustaining that trust is a job that will never be done, and one that we take very seriously.”
Q: How do you keep people engaged in the work?
A: “Many years ago, a very wise person told me that in order to drive change you must not only engage people’s minds, but also their hearts. That will be a primary focus for me and my team going forward.”
Q: You’ve shared that one of your proudest moments has been making the workplace more LGBTQ-inclusive? What does that look like, and why is this important to you?
A: “Last year we changed how our employees identify themselves by offering options to identify as Non-Binary, Transgender, a member of the LGBTQ community, and to express pronouns (for most US-based employees). Globally, we now also use “Chosen Name” for the field formerly referred to as ‘Nickname.’ This is entirely optional for those who wish to take advantage of it. This is important to me because we want to provide safe spaces for our employees to bring their most authentic selves to work. It means they feel more comfortable and in turn to the best work of their career.”
Q: Why does driving a culture that embraces all voices matter?
A: “As a company of content creators and storytellers, we have the platform and obligation to help inform, entertain, and shed light on important issues and underrepresented populations. We can’t do that unless our employees, our culture and our values are reflective of all perspectives and groups.”
Q: How does advancing diversity, equity and inclusion impact the culture of NBCUniversal?
A: “We at NBCUniversal have been a company that has prided itself on being a culture of ‘firsts’ in advancing DEI. Throughout our storied history we’ve provided the opportunity for diverse storytelling on our programs and in our films, with diverse actors and talent, well before other media companies were doing the same. This has made us industry leaders and put us at the forefront of the advancement of the creative field - we’ve been improving diversity, equity, inclusion for the entire industry. Pioneering takes courage, so this is incredibly rewarding work that has been a major source of pride for our teams.”
Q: Lastly, where do you get your passion for diversity, equity and inclusion work?
A: “I grew up near downtown Los Angeles as the only child of a Black father and Chinese-American mother, both of whom worked for the government. My father was one of the first Black consultants for the Fair Employment Practices Committee, investigating claims of housing and employment discrimination, and my mother worked to provide aid to low-income families for much of her career. They were both fiercely dedicated to making an impact in the community and they instilled those values and that passion in me. Even prior to taking on the position of Chief Diversity Officer, I tried to bring that lens to all of my previous roles.”
Read the full profile here.