Leadership: A People Business

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Step up: Transform Your Company, Your Industry and Your Impact. That is the theme of this week’s Women in Cable Telecommunications Leadership Conference — and it’s at the core of WICT’s mission to develop female leaders who transform our industry.

Why a leadership conference and why now? There are, after all, a healthy number of major annual events in the cable industry. But most of them focus only on the business of cable.

That is valid and necessary. The WICT Leadership Conference, however, is concerned with the individuals that drive the bottom line of the cable business: the eager novice, the emerging leader, the established executive.

While aggressive competition and fresh technologies keep the business on the go and in the news, it’s the skill of the collective cable workforce that keep the industry vibrant and successful. As a result, it has always been our goal to ensure that our members’ leadership skills are as polished as their industry knowledge, and working together, these traits produce leaders that have clear impact.

The new WICT Leadership Conference presents an opportunity for WICT to assist more than 500 individuals in honing their leadership skills. It will allow us to execute our mission with participants who can make a difference. This is just one example of WICT’s influence in enhancing the cable workplace.

Later this month, we will distribute the fifth annual Pay Equity, Advancement Opportunities and Resources for Work and Life survey to human resources departments. More than any other program, the PAR Initiative has made the most significant impact upon the composition of cable’s workforce.

For example, our data reveals that in 2003 — year one of PAR — 78% of participating companies had no formal policy regarding equity in pay between men and women. In 2006, of those same participants, that percentage shrank to 7%. Such change has a positive effect today, making it possible to attract the best and brightest women and men into the industry.

Just as groundbreaking as PAR is our signature leadership program, the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute. In more than a decade, 350 women have gone through the BMLI program — a journey of far more than the seven months that each class of 25 women initially spend together.

For the individual, BMLI allows each woman to participate in concentrated sessions of personal development and self-evaluation. The sessions can be tough and intense, but ultimately rewarding and unparalleled. For the industry, these BMLI Fellows return to their companies far more aware of their strengths and weaknesses and far better equipped to excel as extraordinary leaders.

Our commitment to creating leaders begins with leveraging the expertise of the 20 WICT chapters across the country, which take the pulse of their communities and deliver programs that provide professional development and leadership opportunities.

The commitment continues with those who are ready to jump-start their careers, such as participants in the WICT Cable Boot Camp and the Rising Leaders programs. Also included are senior executives who give back by serving as volunteer leaders.

WICT has stepped up. Now it’s your turn. Transform yourself and those around you by getting involved in WICT’s leadership programs.

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