Have you ever attended WICT’s Signature Luncheon? If you haven’t, I need to let you in on a little secret, Go! As a new “Comcaster”, this is my first year as a WICT member and Signature Luncheon attendee, and boy did I hit the jackpot on both counts. On May 2, I traveled to New York City to participate in WICT’s 40-year anniversary celebration; and was captivated by its history of forging gender diversity and inclusion in the cable and telecommunications industry. The anniversary luncheon presented a robust program from start to finish (and some surprisingly delicious food in between).
WICT set the tone of the event “Honoring the Past, Celebrating the Present, Imagining the Future;” from the moment you exited the elevators with a timeline of the organization’s development and growth shown in parallel with other major events in history, including the election of Margaret Thatcher and appointment of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Janet Reno.
Kicking-off the program, founding members and chairs filled the stage, and shared with the sold-out audience what WICT means to them. Words like fierce, empowering, and turbo-charged were spoken. The room embraced the messages each person shared with applause (and sometimes laughter).
The celebration and honors continued throughout the afternoon, and included three presentations as unique as the speakers. The first to speak was Acting Chairman of A+E Networks Abbe Raven whose message asked each of us what we were going to do to continue the work of WICT. She asked how we were going to shake things up and push inclusion to greater heights and more impressive figures; and, to hold us to it, she challenged us to invite her to a future WICT Luncheon to join the celebration of our next round of accomplishments. Imaging the Future, indeed, Abbe.
We then looked back and celebrated the hard work and daring strides of Kim Brook who recently transitioned from Fusion TV to ABC News Live. In her vulnerability, Kim brought each of us on the journey with her from her parents’ divorce to taking a risk by asking Oprah if she could join her when next she visited the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. She opened with a quote that stayed with me, “Sometimes, rock bottom is a trampoline.” A tremendous lesson reminding in Honoring the Past; thank you, Kim, for sharing your journey.
And then we took a moment to celebrate The Now by remember to keep our eyes on our WHY. Egypt Sherrod encouraged us to keep in mind that there is more to life than accomplishment for the sake of accomplishment. If we are going to honor the life we’ve been given, we need to look within and celebrate what sparks us with joy; and then we need to embrace that as our why. It is through knowing our why (our purpose) that we can move forward with fulfillment and energy. Thank you, Egypt, for reminding us about Celebrating the Present by remembering your why.
Not only was it WICT’s anniversary, it was also Maria E. Brennan’s 10-year anniversary as the President & CEO. In honor of her leadership and commitment, WICT contributed to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in her name. The shared respect and admiration between Maria and the WICT community engendered within me excitement for future events and experiences.
As the luncheon wrapped up, it was clear to this new member that WICT is a force in the world of gender equality and workplace inclusion. The women (and men) in attendance renewed and strengthened my appreciation for each and every opportunity I’ve received; and they’ve reminded me of the obligation I have to empower and champion future generations of women.
Thank you, WICT.