PAR Will Get More Entry Level

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This year's study of pay equity, advancement opportunities and resources for work/life support in the cable industry — otherwise known as the PAR initiative — will include greater focus on women in entry-level positions and those in the technical fields.

Feedback from companies that took part in the PAR initiative last year showed a need to refine the language of the questionnaire, especially its technical portion. The survey is conducted as a partnership between Women in Cable & Telecommunications and Working Mother Media.

WICT spokeswoman Melissa Northern said 2003 respondents tended to account for any woman working in information technology. This year's survey seeks specificity as to which roles those women fill.

In addition to questions on women in technical roles, the survey includes a new section on women in call-center management and queries about the basic demographics of each participating companies.

"There are more questions on entry-level women. We want to see if these women are moving up," Northern said.

The PAR survey has also included a segment on supplier diversity.

Last year, 28 companies participated in the survey, including programmers representing nine of the top 20 channels and operators who serve 74% of the nation's cable homes, according to WICT. Those results were released last November, and showed the cable industry is below business world averages both in measurements of women in the field and in terms of women in management roles.

WICT president and CEO Benita Fitzgerald Mosley has personally urged executives from non-participating companies to join the survey in 2004, Northern noted.

Companies have until May 28 to participate in the PAR initiative. The survey and added information is available from the WICT Web site (www.wict.org/par).

WICT will release the results Nov. 1, just prior to the 20th annual WICT Foundation Benefit Gala, scheduled for Nov. 3.

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