Jerry Marcus
Employee Spotlight

Jerry Marcus: The Power of Authenticity

Jerry Marcus is a process improvement engineer for the Total Rewards Data Services team and co-lead for the Headquarters MyAbilities Employee Resource Group (ERG).

He was recently interviewed in the Self-ID video series which was part of a companywide campaign that encouraged employees to voluntarily self-identify personal information about their Gender/Sex Assigned at Birth, Race/Ethnicity, Military Status, Veteran Status, LGBTQ+ Community, Gender Identity, Pronouns, and Disability Status, to help Comcast better understand the dimensions of diversity within our workforce. 

Jerry advocates for hiring those who have autism and other disabilities by sharing his personal story. Read excerpts from the interview and learn more about Jerry in the conversation below.

Q: How do you identify? And why do you choose to self-identify (Self-ID)?

A: "My primary identity is Jerry Marcus (chuckling). I do identify as someone who has autism, is Jewish, and gay among other identities. I identify because it is my belief that sharing who you are with others allows you to bring your authentic self to the table.”

Q: What was your biggest concern with self-identifying? Why do you think others struggle to self-ID?

A: “There are perceptions and stigmas attached to a label and around being open about who you are. We’re often taught to hide this information because in the past, it was seen as a negative.

I have felt biases where people saw me as incapable of tasks and overlooked for certain opportunities. I always thought, are they looking at me based on my labels and saying, ‘well, Jerry can’t handle this because he has autism.’

Each person is on their own journey in becoming their authentic self, and this is where communities, groups, and organizations play an important role to meet them where they are. I believe two important contributions that can help overcome this struggle are a strong, diverse, and equitable work culture, and having psychological safety to feel comfortable to self-ID.”

Q. Has self-identifying led to any changes in how you do your job or how people relate to you?

A: “Self-identifying has resulted in me becoming an advocate and at times a voice for [people with] autism. However, I don’t want people to think that my experience truly defines what autism is. For those looking to be a better ally of any group, utilize employee resource and advocacy groups that are beneficial to get a broader scope in representing multiple voices in the community.

Self-Identifying has opened opportunities to also work with the business to make sure the voices of all customers are considered, including those with disabilities.”

Q. As the co-lead for MyAbilities ERG, why are you passionate about leading this work?

Note: The MyAbilities Network empowers People with Disabilities and their allies across the enterprise via increased exposure, leadership, mentoring and development opportunities, while championing a safe and welcoming disability-sensitive work environment. MyAbilities is committed to cultivating a workplace that is reflective of and responsive to all the communities and customers we serve, enabling individual and company success.

A: “ERGs are such a valuable piece of an organization’s identity, especially for employees in representing their authentic selves – probably one of the reasons why ERGs are one of the top five reasons that people are a part of this company. There is so much power in groups that benefits both employees and the organization.

I took this leadership role because I want this group to grow and be fulfilling to all employees. My vision as a leader was to create this safe space and to leverage the MyAbilities membership for the organization, building a company with seamless accommodations, a great and equitable experience for our customers and employees, and forward thinking about our products and operations.”

Q. What has been the most memorable moment for you?

A: “There have been so many memorable moments since I joined back in 2019. Two that come to mind would be getting Judy Huemann to speak for our company’s DE&I Speaker Series, an ongoing initiative that features scholars, thought leaders and expert speakers discussing a variety of diversity, equity and inclusion topics.

Also planning and executing a Mental Health Day event that leveraged ERGs to bring in wonderful internal and external guests to address what has become such a hot-button topic, especially after the pandemic. Mental health affects us all in the work that we do and how we show up for ourselves.”

Q: Many people struggle being their authentic self in the workplace, how are you able to do it? What words of encouragement can you give?

A: “It was difficult, but I knew that we could only be as authentic as we can allow ourselves to be. The most important reminders I’d like to share are not to judge yourself on what others think. You live for yourself, and you are living through your decisions, so decide to be authentic.”