Q&A with Bernie Han, Group Vice President, Spectrum Networks and NAMIC ELDP Class XIV Alumna
Q: What advice would you give to your younger self?
A: Speak up. Many Asian cultures emphasize restraint and humility, cultural values that are at odds with the behaviors usually required for success in the corporate workplace. Growing up, I tried not to draw attention to myself. But in my career, I realized that if I wanted to achieve my goals, I needed to stand out.
Q: What’s your approach to mentoring?
A: I’m a big proponent of cross-cultural mentoring. It gives you new perspectives. Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) are more likely than non-APAs to report a shortage of corporate role models from the same cultural background. One reason for this is there just aren’t very many of us. Look to build mentoring relationships with people of different cultural backgrounds. I also recommend participating in both formal and informal networks. Formal networks provide structured ways to develop relationships. NAMIC, for example, offers great programs with built-in networking. Informal networks exist in all work environments. Determine who’s in those networks, and who leads them. Then identify potential mentors and put yourself out there.
Q: Why is diversity and inclusion (D&I) important?
A: D&I is an important element of business success. Research shows that organizations with inclusive cultures are 6x more likely to be innovative and agile. It’s important that we don’t shy away from sharing our unique perspectives. Different voices at the table are critical. This is especially true at Spectrum News, where we offer hyper-local news for diverse audiences across the country. We strive to deliver what audiences want, and to do that, we need diverse talent that is willing and encouraged to speak up. To that end, I’m glad I had the opportunity to participate in NAMIC’s Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP), which helped me refine my thinking around how to better serve our diverse customer base and how to be a more inclusive leader.
Q; How would you define success?
A: Success is doing work that aligns with your values. I feel fortunate to be at Spectrum Networks – we’ve always maintained that our news channels serve as the connective tissue in our communities, and this pandemic has proven that to be the case now more than ever. I’m also proud of the many other ways that Charter supports the community. For example, just last month the company launched Spectrum Scholars, a scholarship and career development program that will provide 20 under-represented college students up to $20,000 each in scholarships, pair them with a Charter mentor, and give them an opportunity to explore interning with us.