When it was announced that she would be leaving Women in Cable Telecommunications, Benita Fitzgerald Mosley spoke with Multichannel News’s John Eggerton about the legacy she leaves behind and new challenges ahead as she transitions to her new role as chief of sport performance for USA Track & Field.
MCN: Looking back at your eight years leading WICT, what would you say was your greatest achievement?
Benita Fitzgerald Mosley: Programmatically, I would say the PAR Initiative … That has been a great opportunity for WICT to talk about issues that are most important to women, help disseminate best practices to companies to help them implement policies and programs that help advance women. But it is also important to show the industry that we still have work to do so they can’t rest on their laurels.
As far as the overall organization, I think I am proudest of my staff … They really are a great team of people. They love what they do. They love this organization.
MCN: So why the decision to move on?
BFM: When I deliberated over the decision, I did think to myself that after eight years at WICT and all the great work the staff and the board have done to elevate the organization and improve existing programs and introduce new ones like the PAR Initiative, and [grow] membership, we will continue to do great things, but it will feel to me like more of the same. And this was certainly a new challenge and a new opportunity.
I knew that in 2012, when I am watching the Olympics on TV, if I hadn’t been a part of it I would have been pretty upset about it.
I am so sad and emotional about leaving WICT. There are so many people on my staff, on my board, our members and chapter leaders, that I care about deeply and will miss. But I knew I would probably regret not taking this opportunity.
MCN: What major hurdles do women still face in the industry?
BFM: We have had the best success, as far as the PAR Initiative, with companies adopting policies around pay and gender. So, I think we need to ensure that companies are looking at this as a major issue, not only of fairness, but from a marketing and talent development and recruitment/retention standpoint. If you want the best talent, you need to pay them.
MCN: Any advice for your successor?
BFM:One of the things that helped me, particularly in the past five years of my tenure, was a concept called knowledge-based decision-making … You talk about the concept of going with your gut on certain decisions, and I think there is a certain amount of that that is necessary as a leader. But I think that having the requisite data in order to make sound decisions is also important.
Whatever it is that we are doing, we listen to our chapter leaders, members, sponsors and board members. We are in the process of polling because we are going to be doing a strategic planning session on my last day (June 30) in New York City. And each of those people at the meeting will have a huge three-ring binder of information to look at to develop the best strategy. It’s all kinds of data, conversations with people, anecdotal evidence — those are the kinds of things that helped inform our decisions over the past several years. And I think that has been a huge help.