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WICT/NAMIC: Women, Minorities Gain Management Slots

The cable industry has seen an increase in the percentage of women and people of color in management and senior level positions, according to new employment studies from Women in Cable Telecommunications and NAMIC.

The results of WICT's PAR Cable Telecommunications Industry Diversity Survey and the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communication AIM (Advancement Investment Measurement) report also warned of increased turnover rates that, if not addressed, could cut into management gains for both women and people of color.

The findings of the two surveys were revealed during a joint WICT and NAMIC town hall meeting Tuesday morning (Sept. 29) in New York.

The PAR survey reported that the percentage of female executives and senior-level managers increased by 4% since the last PAR report in 2013. Promotion rates in the manager and executive/senior manager levels were higher for women than for men, according to the survey.

For people of color, the percentage of executives and senior level managers increased by 1% since the 2013 NAMIC AIM report -- mostly from increases within cable MSOs and programmers, NAMIC officials said.

The number of entry-level and mid-level managers of color increased by a modest 1% since 2013, according to the NAMIC AIM survey.

While women gained in numbers in upper management positions, WICT's PAR report said the actual number of full-time female employees declined by 1% in the past two years. The survey added that an increasing turnover rate projects a decline in the representation of women at the manager level and above over the next five years, according to the survey.

“There is progress in a number of important areas for women; however, there is more work to be done,” WICT president and CEO Maria Brennan said. “The key driver that will significantly enhance representation of women is increased workplace retention. Overall, the survey illustrates the need for WICT and our industry to remain resolute in our commitment to creating more opportunities for women.“

Promotion rates for people of color continued to decline since 2013, and turnover rates remain higher than those of their white counterparts, according to the survey. Most notable are the differences at the executive and senior manager levels, where the promotion rate for white employees is twice that rate for people of color, according to the survey.

"While there is evidence that our industry is committed to increasing multi-ethnic diversity, continued vigilance and commitment will be essential as we move forward,” Eglon Simons, president and CEO of NAMIC, said. “The high rate of turnover and poor rate of promotion being experienced by professionals of color threaten to undermine hard-fought gains.”

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.