Final Lineup of Speakers and Highlights for WICT Leadership Conference


Trudie Styler, Actress, Producer and Director, Will Deliver Keynote; Lisa Schwartz, Co-President, Sundance Selects & IFC Films, Honorary Chair of WICT Touchstones Luncheon

Women's Empowerment Advocate Gretchen Carlson to Open Second Day

NAMIC & WICT Release Findings of Joint Industry Diversity Survey During Town Hall

September 25-26 WICT Conference Kicks Off Cable's Diversity Week in New York City

Washington, DC -- Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) will hold its annual WICT Leadership Conference at the New York Marriott Marquis on Monday and Tuesday, September 25-26.
The WICT Leadership Conference is the preeminent leadership development opportunity for cable professionals at all levels of their career journeys. This year's conference theme is, "Level Up. Focus Forward."

Katie Couric, award winning journalist and bestselling author, will speak during the opening general session on Monday, September 25. Couric will be interviewed during a fireside chat with Joanne Lipman, Editor in Chief, USA Today & USA Today Network; Chief Content Officer, Gannett. David L. Cohen, Comcast's Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, will introduce Couric and also share his insights and experience on creating strong diversity and inclusion practices with the Leadership Conference audience.

Trudie Styler, actress, producer and director (IFC Films' Freak Show) will deliver keynote remarks at the Touchstones Luncheon, taking place on Monday, September 25 at the Marriott Marquis in New York. The Touchstones Luncheon will honor the 2017 Women of the Year, Sarah Barnett, President & General Manager, BBC America and D'Arcy Rudnay, EVP & Chief Communications Officer, Comcast; and Women to Watch honorees, Samira Panah Bakhtiar, Director, Media Operations, Cisco Systems; Charlene Keys, AVP, Field Operations -- Western North Carolina, Charter Communications; and Tina Thornton, SVP, Production & Multimedia Sponsorship Integration and Management Operations, ESPN. In addition, WICT Board Member Lisa Schwartz, Co-President, Sundance Selects & IFC Films, will serve as the 2017 Touchstones Luncheon Honorary Chair.

On Tuesday, September 26, Gretchen Carlson, acclaimed TV journalist and women's empowerment advocate, will open the second day of the conference with a keynote based on her new book, Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back.

The results of the joint 2017 NAMIC AIM and WICT PAR employment survey will be shared during a Town Hall session on Tuesday morning. Following opening remarks by Michael Powell, President & CEO, NCTA, Gail Greenfield, PhD, Principal, Mercer, will present an executive summary of the survey findings. PBS Newshour correspondent John Yang will discuss the findings with panelists Adria Alpert Romm, Chief Human Resources & Global Diversity Officer, Discovery Communications; Karen Bennett, Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, Cox Communications; David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast; Rhonda Crichlow, Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer, Charter Communications; and Monica Diaz, Vice President, Diversity, Inclusion & Wellness, ESPN.

Following the Town Hall, the conference will conclude with the highly popular Pearls of Wisdom, a series of mini-keynotes delivered by Kimberly Brooks, Host/Correspondent, Fusion Network; Juju Chang, Co-anchor, ABC News' Nightline; Reshma Saujani, Founder & CEO, Girls Who Code; Dana Strong, President & COO, Virgin Media; and Alison Wright, Photographer, Alison Wright Photography.
The cable industry celebrates, for the eighth consecutive year, the return of Diversity Week to New York City, September 25 to 28. Diversity Week will feature multiple events held by cable's diversity organizations: WICT, the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) and The Walter Kaitz Foundation. All three groups will celebrate and promote the critical role diversity plays in the cable telecommunications industry.

WICT gratefully acknowledges the 2017 Leadership Conference Platinum Sponsor Comcast NBCUniversal and Champion Sponsors Disney and ESPN Media Networks, HBO, and TV One. WICT also recognizes and thanks AMC Networks for its Premier Sponsorship of the 2017 WICT Touchstones Luncheon.

About WICT (Women in Cable Telecommunications)
WICT's mission is to create women leaders who transform our industry. We do this by providing unparalleled professional development programs, commissioning original gender research, and supporting a B2B network that helps advance women. For nearly 40 years, WICT has partnered with cable and technology companies to help build a more robust pipeline of women leaders. Founded in 1979, and now over 10,000 members strong, WICT is the largest and oldest professional association serving women in cable media. Comcast NBCUniversal, Charter Communications, and Turner are WICT's Strategic Touchstone Partners. Please visit or follow @WICT on Twitter for more information.


Conference Overview

Event: WICT Leadership Conference & Touchstones Luncheon
Date: September 25-26
Location: Marriott Marquis New York (1535 Broadway); 5th and 6th Floor

Press must register in advance by contacting Kristin Edwards ( or 202-827-4790.

WICT is on Twitter (@wict) and Instagram (@wict_hq)