Veterans

Honoring Veterans on Screen and Embracing Them in the Workplace


For me, Veterans Day is synonymous with the New York City Marathon as they occur around the same time of year. While I don’t ever imagine myself being able to run 26.2 miles, I can certainly understand why those who have done so loved the experience (maybe minus the physical pain). Above all, it is about commitment – training all year long to endure the physical, mental and emotional journey. As we approach Veterans Day nationwide, I reflect on the great commitment of our nation’s veterans – the journeys they and their families withstand to serve our nation.

Since the inception of A+E Networks, we have supported veterans, with our very first CEO, the late Nicholas Davatzes, having served in the military. We have held on to this legacy and grown it exponentially over the years. Through our Mission to Honor initiative we highlight veterans by sharing their stories of service and showing the many ways veterans contribute to communities even after they are no longer in uniform. We air programming, PSAs and online content that showcase veterans past and present, including "Variety Salute to Service," a one-hour special that airs on The HISTORY Channel each November profiling extraordinary veterans. We also support leading nonprofit organizations including Team Rubicon, America's VetDogs, the HeadStrong Project, The Mission Continues and more. Additional information about Mission to Honor can be found at our online hub www.Veterans.com.

Providing Flexibility & Inclusivity

In my role as Vice President of Talent Acquisitions and Diversity, I have also seen how some of our broader corporate initiatives that are focused on flexibility and inclusivity move forward our work with respect to many groups, including veterans.

One example is A+E Networks’ flexible work policy; for the vast majority of roles, A+E Networks employees can choose to be 100% remote, hybrid or in-office. We’ve expanded the number of states employees can work in and since most folks don’t have to be tied to an office, it’s greatly expanded where people can reside even within the states we have always operated. This flexibility has allowed for an expanded, more diverse talent pool for us to recruit from, including veterans, and allows us to hire from groups (such as military spouses) where it would have been logistically challenging to do so before. In fact, it is because of this policy that we were able to hire a Minnesota-based veteran on our own People Team.

Using a Skills-First Lens for Talent Acquisition

As I look toward the future, I am thinking about the recent LinkedIn Talent Connect conference I attended when I was struck by the focus on a skills-first approach. Employers can level the playing field and expand their talent pool by doubling down on skills like “prior experience leading teams” or “writes macros in Excel” instead of prioritizing Ivy League educations, titles, or experience at well-known companies. Building this lens into our hiring can help veterans in our recruitment process and help hiring managers focus on what matters.

Engaging Veterans Through Community & Apprenticeships

Our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) continue to lead the way in driving community and connection with roughly half of our employees participating. We have recently launched a survey to evaluate interest in a veterans’ network too. We also look forward to bringing back our Pete Sgro program, an apprenticeship for veterans who are interested in media technology. We are actively evaluating how to reimagine the program for our new way of work and are excited to welcome new cohorts in the future.

Thank you to our current and former military members and their families, who all sacrifice so much in the name of serving our country. And thank you to all the veterans currently working at A+E Networks for your contributions inside and outside of our company. Of course, I can not end this note without a special thank you to the veterans on our People Team: Shawn Burke in Total Rewards and Victor Kim in HR Operations.

Knowledge Center

RELATED RESOURCES

For a curated collection of articles on veteran employment initiatives (plus 20 more topics), please visit the HR Knowledge Center.

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