Featured Image (left to right): Jane Bertolo, Angelica Magpusao’s husband, Crystal Hasen during their time in the Marine Corps
November is a special time at Comcast NBCUniversal when we celebrate our commitment to building an inclusive workplace for military community employees while also taking extra care to show our gratitude to military customers and communities. Comcast has committed to hiring 21,000 veterans, military spouses and National Guard and Reserve members between 2015 and 2021.
Since the start of 2020, more than 100 Comcast NBCUniversal employees have answered the call to duty. Over a quarter of these military employees were activated in response to COVID-19, with missions to build critical infrastructure, manage test collection sites, distribute food, and assist medical examiners.
In the spirit of creating a more inclusive and equitable world and workplace, we want to honor and celebrate the stories of three women at Comcast California who have served our country.
“I was the only female in my unit of 110 guys for a while before another female came on board,” said Jane Bertolo, Human Resource leader.
Jane remembers the men in her unit fondly, recalling that they used to look out for her and treated her as equal. She feels fortunate that she had a positive experience while in the military. But Jane says during her time in the Marine Corps she often felt like a burden, since her presence required certain accommodations, like a restroom for women.
Jane had few women to look up to in the military, stating that it was the female drill instructors who “represent strong females in a very male-dominated arena. That’s when you’re like, ‘Wow, I want to be like them.’”
Fortunately, this path is changing. According to Statista, as of 2019 there were around 1.64 million women veterans in the United States, many of whom have become an essential part of the workforce.
Comcast employees like Jane are helping pave the way for other women who are making the difficult transition from serving in the military to re-entering the workforce.
Crystal Hasen, Comcast’s South Bay Market Manager, served in the Marine Corps for eight years before retiring at sergeant rank. She joined the Marine Corps after 9/11 and reflects “I wanted to be a part of something bigger.”
Not without pushback and “divine intervention” though. Crystal says that when she decided to join the military her family was adamant that she not follow through, but on the day she was at the recruiter’s office she received an out of the blue call from her cousin. “He said, ‘Hey, what’re you doing?’ and I told him I’m at the recruiting office talking to the recruiter about joining the Marine Corps, but nobody wants me to do it. He said, ‘I’ve always wanted to join the military and I couldn’t, so I want to live vicariously through you. I want you to do it.’” She signed the papers immediately afterward.
Crystal describes her unit as phenomenal, and that she wanted to prove herself while among them. Her unit had more women than most, with a resounding five women. “The guys made each other’s lives harder, but with the females they always tried to help us. It made it feel more competitive because we wanted to be the same.” She says her time in the military— especially working with men she outranked—taught her how to command a room, drive morale in unexpected situations and make people feel comfortable in new environments.
The sacrifice and dedication of the loved ones who stay home while their husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sisters, uncles are away should not go unnoticed. Angelica Magpusao, Talent Recruiting Business Partner at Comcast, is a granddaughter, daughter and wife of men who served in the military. She likes that Comcast is the only company that recognized her as part of the military group.
During her husband’s six years in the service, Angelica worked and raised their two children, one of which has special needs. While her husband served our country, Angelica served her home and family. She had to learn how to be an advocate for her son, and she had to help her family understand her husband’s transition back to civilian life.
“There’s an adjustment period, they may come back with PTSD. Then there’s everything else they’ve been conditioned to learn in the military, which they also bring back home. With opportunity, we can help these veterans come home and be very successful here. I think we owe it to them, just like we owe it to our children to have a seat at the table,” said Angelica.
Comcast is spending Veteran’s Day honoring women like Jane, Crystal and Angelica by hosting an event with VetNet and Women’s Network Employee Resource Groups to highlight more of their incredible stories.
Every day we are thankful for the men, women and family members that serve our country.