WICT at 40: Broadband Power Players Launch Diversity Campaign

Comcast, Cox, Discovery, Spectrum, Turner join forces
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Broadband providers and content companies are teaming up on a digital media campaign (#LeadWithMore) to mark the 40th anniversary of Women in Cable Telecommunications. The companies are committing more than $6 million in airtime to the campaign, as well as social media support.

Maria Brennan: "There's so much we can do together"

Maria Brennan: "There's so much we can do together"

Comcast NBCUniversal, Cox Communications, Discovery, Inc., Spectrum and Turner joined with WICT to announce the campaign at the National Press Club Monday (March 4) in Washington, with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Commissioner Michael O'Rielly scheduled to be on hand to recognize the effort.

WICT unveiled a PSA, backed by those companies and "designed to build awareness of the vast career opportunities available for women in the media industry, specifically in technology, science and engineering roles."

The PSA highlights the following points:

  • "Companies with women in top management have higher staff morale (Harvard Business Review).
  • "Gender diversity fosters greater innovation (Pfizer and AstraZeneca).
  • "Gender diverse companies are more profitable than their competition (McKinsey and Company).
  • "Across the board, women in leadership roles enhance a company's performance (Peterson Institute for International Economics)."

“At a time when we can all recognize that time’s up, there’s truly no better time than now to make diversity and inclusion a central part of a competitive business strategy," said WICT Global Chair Marva Johnson.

The #LeadwithMore campaign began Monday (March 4) and continues through June 4.

In his remarks, Chairman Pai borrowed from "one of the greatest female characters ever on cable"--Mad Men's Peggy Olson. "During a job interview," he said, "a male candidate for a writing position once disrespected Peggy, assuming she was a secretary. Peggy replied simply and accurately: "I am the person you need to impress right now.' Like Peggy Olson, WICT demands our attention and deserves our respect."The chairman provided some supporting material: "First, WICT opens doors. Noted television writer Nell Scovell has said that the lack of gender diversity in parts of the media and tech sectors is 'not a pipeline problem. It’s a broken doorbell problem. There’s so much talent that’s on the doorstep ringing the bell. And no one’s opening the door.' For 40 years, you’ve been working to fix that doorbell in the cable industry.  "Second, WICT develops talent. A lot of people may get a foot in the door. But they may not know how to walk all the way in, even with a lot of hard work and aptitude. WICT’s work to create mentoring opportunities helps women turn potential into power. "Third, WICT creates role models. When you open doors for women in the cable industry, and then enable their talents to shine so they can rise to leadership positions, it has a ripple effect far beyond the careers of the women you touch directly.  When talented young women see people who look like themselves holding senior positions in the cable business, they are more likely to see those jobs as a possibility for themselves."

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