When Michele Wood, Vice President of Compensation for Comcast, was learning how to ride a bike, her prosthetic foot would often slip off the pedals. She remembers her parents having to duct tape her foot on the pedal so she could keep up with the other kids. “I didn’t let growing up with a disability stop me from doing the things I wanted to do. However, it did require me to approach certain things differently.”
Born with Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency, Michele has a prosthetic leg and credits adaptability and resilience to her disability – traits that have helped her throughout her career. During her 15 years at Comcast, Michele has taken on a variety of challenging roles in different parts of the business. “Learning how to adapt and overcome challenges as a kid prepared me for the fast paced, dynamic environment here at Comcast.”
Despite the unique strengths and talents they bring to the workplace, people with disabilities are much less likely to be employed. According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for those with a disability in 2019 is 7.3% — just about twice as high as those without a disability. A reason, Michele notes, is that there is a misconception that people with disabilities are not qualified applicants.
- Building a pipeline of talent by working with external partners in the disability community;
- Cultivating an inclusive environment by educating our workforce; and
- Empowering employees with disabilities by providing them equal access to the tools, information, support, and systems they need to succeed at work.
When thinking about Comcast’s commitment to an inclusive environment, Michele says that the words “fairness” and “respect” come to mind. “We have a number of employee resources groups (ERGs) which provide personal and professional development, mentoring, volunteer opportunities, etc. which foster an environment of inclusivity,” says Michele. “Comcast continues to present me with new opportunities to learn about our business and grow in my career, as well as demonstrating a commitment to my professional development. I’m lucky to be part of the Comcast family.”