Originally published on Comcast.com
Comcast NBCUniversal is proud to support an inclusive and innovative workplace, and our employees are at the heart of those efforts. Our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are employee-led, open to all, and committed to career development, community service and building our diverse culture. They also embrace our spirit of entrepreneurship, which is embodied by our BENgineers group, an offshoot of our Black Employee Network ERG, which seeks opportunities for our diverse technologists to collaborate and share their unique perspectives and skills.
Last week, more than 150 “BENgineers” from across the country came together for the first time ever at Comcast’s headquarters in Philadelphia. The gathering of diverse Comcast engineers, technologists and innovators just happened to coincide not only with Black History Month, but also National Engineers Week.
The BENgineers group is a true employee grassroots movement. Three years ago, two members of our Black Employee Network, Mumin Ransom, a Software Engineering Manager, and, Justin LaRose, a Senior Software Engineer, were looking for fellow Black engineers they could team up with on a project. So, like all good engineers, they went in search of a solution. What they found was a group of diverse technologists who wanted to collaborate with and inspire each other through their shared experiences and interests.
That first project brought together seven Black Comcast engineers, who created a groundbreaking feature for our Xfinity X1 television experience. Called ‘Last Nine’, users can quickly access the last nine shows, movies, or channels watched. Since then, the group has continued to grow and evolve to include 150 Comcast employee members, who continue to collaborate on projects, community service, and mentoring.
“Creating the BENgineers group with Justin has been a great personal and professional experience,” said Mumin. “The BENgineers have helped to connect so many people. We all share a passion to create pathways for the next generation of technologists. We do this by addressing the issues that face our community. We have helped kids to engage with technology. We have worked with the talent acquisition team here at Comcast when they reach out to HBCUs for recruiting. We have spoken at conferences and participated in hackathons and LabWeeks to showcase our talent and the value that we bring to the technology industry. We are being the representation.”
Click here to see photos from this gathering.
During their full-day conference, the BENgineers hosted a number of panels and breakout sessions that addressed a range of topics, from career development and emerging trends in tech, to showcasing interesting work by BENgineers from across the company. There was even a speed mentoring session that helped spark many new relationships.
“With the rapid growth of the group, it’s clear to that we’re making a difference, and that’s what makes it so rewarding,” added Mumin. “The inclusive and entrepreneurial culture of Comcast gave us the agency necessary to build this group. Our rapid growth is due to the void that the BENgineers filled. The BENgineers created a place for black technologists to connect and find a community. We were able to do this with the tremendous support from our members and leadership at Comcast. The BENgineers growth was driven by the vision, and we have an even bigger vision for the future.”