Our Values In Action
Our Values Ambassadors Are Leveling the Playing Field
Growing up in North Dakota, it didn’t occur to twin sisters Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando that they wouldn’t always have the same opportunities as their four older brothers. The twins’ parents encouraged them to play any sports they wanted. If a girls’ team didn’t exist, their mom and dad signed them up for the boys’ team.
By age 12, Jocelyne and Monique were hockey powerhouses, able to hold their own — and then some — on the ice against their brothers and teammates on the boys’ Peewee team. Next came stellar high school and Division 1 college hockey careers, becoming six-time World Champions, and winning two silver medals at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics. Then in 2018, the twins became Olympic gold medalists — the first gold medalists born and bred in North Dakota — with Monique’s game-tying goal and Jocelyne’s game-winning shootout goal sealing the deal for the first U.S. Olympic gold medal in women’s hockey in 20 years.
We were given all the same opportunities as our brothers growing up, but when we got older we started to see discrepancies in how girls and women were treated, and it really opened our eyes.
For Jocelyne and Monique, now 29, the journey from the ice rinks of North Dakota to the Olympics world stage in South Korea included countless hours of practice and training. It also provided a crash course in gender inequity. “We were given all the same opportunities as our brothers growing up, but when we got older we started to see discrepancies in how girls and women were treated, and it really opened our eyes,” says Jocelyne. Sometimes it was little things, like when the U.S. hockey uniforms were unveiled before the 2014 Olympic Games and no one bothered to invite any players from the women’s team to the event — nor to list the 1998 women’s gold medal on the jersey alongside the men’s previous gold medals. But lots of times it was big things, like the fact that despite training full time as members of the U.S. Women’s National Team, more than half of Jocelyne and Monique’s teammates also had to work full-time jobs off the ice to support themselves.
“When examples pile up that make you feel undervalued,” Jocelyne adds, “you look at each other in the locker room and say ‘enough is enough.’ We realized we needed to make a change in our program.”
In 2014, the twins began to lead the charge for fair and equal treatment of women’s hockey by USA Hockey and the International Ice Hockey Federation — putting into action what they learned from their parents about the importance of making a difference. They organized their teammates, reached out to others in the hockey community to get their support, and got directly involved in the negotiations with the sport’s governing bodies. They pushed for more equitable compensation as compared to the men’s team, more funding for girls’ youth hockey programs, and fairer training and marketing support for women’s hockey. After more than two years with no progress, they decided it was time to take a stand. The twins, along with the rest of the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team, threatened to boycott the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship just days before the tournament was about to start.
“We knew we were doing the right thing,” says Monique. “Even if we were to give up our Olympic dream or spot on the national team, we were trying to change the future for generations of female athletes to come.”
You can’t in good conscience look at a kid and say ‘You don’t deserve the same opportunities because of your gender, your race, or your socioeconomic background.’
In March 2017, two days before the World Championships were scheduled to start, the team and USA Hockey reached an agreement. The team went on to win the Worlds — and then the Olympic gold the following year.
“We were fighting for more equitable support within hockey, but that resonates and transcends sports,” says Jocelyne.
Because of this fierce advocacy, in 2018, Comcast NBCUniversal named Jocelyne and Monique as ambassadors for our company’s values initiatives, from our commitment to diversity and inclusion, to our volunteer and service initiatives, to our efforts to close the digital divide through partnerships with nonprofits like the Boys & Girls Clubs. All of these initiatives are driven by our company’s fundamental belief — and Jocelyne’s and Monique’s belief as well — that it is critical to cheer for the children and families who are behind, because everyone deserves an equal shot at success.
It was clear to us that Jocelyne and Monique — who took a stand not just for fair treatment of their own team, but also to ensure that in the future all girls have equal opportunity to pursue their hockey dreams — share these same values. We knew that by joining forces, Comcast NBCUniversal and the Lamoureux twins could amplify this shared message and make a real impact in our communities.
“The twins represent exactly the kind of partners we look for,” says David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast Corporation. “They are courageous, community-minded team players who have chosen to use their platform to advocate for equity not only for women in sports, but also for everyone, everywhere.”
In an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Jocelyne said, “We are really passionate about leveling the playing field, whether that is in sports, business, or education.”
One way they are doing so is by promoting Comcast’s Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program for low-income families. Jocelyne and Monique remember well what it was like in their house growing up — six kids and two parents sharing one computer with just a dial-up Internet connection — so they know firsthand the value of broadband. And, according to the twins, traveling across the U.S. to raise awareness of the program, meet with young people, and learn more about the digital divide has further stoked the fire of their equity advocacy. As Monique notes, “You can’t in good conscience look at a kid and say ‘You don’t deserve the same opportunities because of your gender, your race, or your socioeconomic background.’”
Both women recently became mothers, keeping the twins as busy as ever. “We have found that there’s life outside of hockey that we are equally passionate about,” says Monique. “We are using this platform we’re fortunate to have to make a positive impact.”