Cesar Conde Pays His Success Forward
The Chair of NBC Universal News has installed an initiative to exponentially increase the employment of women and people of color.
Cesar Conde is a busy man these days. In May 2020, with the pandemic in full swing, he was named the Director of NBCUniversal News. He also sits on the board of both Walmart and PepsiCo.
While Al Dia has belabored the microscopic representation of Latinos on corporate boards — less than 3% of Fortune 500 board members are Latino — Conde has set a standard for success.
He recently sat down for a virtual discussion with Stephanie Ruhle of MSNBC.
"My parents were immigrants to this country, " Conde said.
His mother is from Cuba while his father is from Peru.
Despite the obstacles, Conde has lived the American dream when it comes to corporate success.
"I do pinch myself all the time," he said.
After graduating from Harvard University, early on, he briefly spent time in investment banking before becoming a White House Fellow under the Bush administration working for then US Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Conde then moved to media, spending twelve years at Univision before moving to Telemundo in 2012. Under his leadership, Telemundo grew exponentially surpassing FOX as the fourth most-watched network.
And he is using his success to pay it forward.
In July 2020, he announced the 50% for the NBCUniversal News Division.
“Over the past several weeks we have covered a country reckoning with systemic inequality and the painful consequences of a long history of racial injustice,” Conde wrote at the time of the announcement. “During times like this, I know we all feel a heavy responsibility to our audience. But we have another important responsibility to meet as well — to each other and the news organization we all value.”
The challenge calls for his company to employ at least 50% women and at least 50% of people of color.
The initiative calls for NBCUniversal News to create pipeline programs, hire more staff, less freelance work, and the creation of an online NBCUniversal News University.
Deadline described the university in more detail, "An online curriculum of master classes (at no charge) to aspiring journalists and producers (inside and outside our organization) who have not had the benefit of getting exposure to our business via school or internships."
“We will put an emphasis at the senior producer level as well as entry-level to ensure we are building a strong pipeline of future leaders and highly qualified individuals,” Conde told Deadline. “And we recognize that to create economic diversity within our ranks, we will need to be creative in compensating Interns, News Associates, and entry-level employees.”
The challenge, however, does not have a goal date by when this should be accomplished.