2023 Signature Luncheon Recap


A look back at the 2023 Signature Luncheon

The WICT Network formed a strategic partnership with the Motion Picture Association (MPA) in support of the 2023 Signature Awards Luncheon. The luncheon took place in Los Angeles at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, marking the first time the event has been held on the West Coast in over a decade. The partnership with the MPA underscores The WICT Network’s dedication to fortifying its new, more inclusive name and brand. Read our press release to learn more.

Thank you to all of our sponsors and friends who joined us for the 2023 Signature Awards Luncheon. Review our pictorial description below to learn more about the event.

The WICT Network’s 2023 Signature Awards Luncheon took place Tuesday, May 2, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles, CA— marking the first time the event has been held on the West Coast in more than ten years. 

Together, we honored the 2022 Top Companies for Women to Work, based on our PAR survey results, including the top operators and programmers based on their achievements in demonstrating stronger gender diversity in the workplace.   

The event began with opening remarks from our President and CEO, Maria Brennan; Board Chair of The WICT Network, Leigh Woisard; with remarks from Gail MacKinnon, Senior EVP of Global Policy and Government Relations at MPA. 

Gail joined Leigh and Maria on stage in recognition of The WICT Network’s important strategic alliance with the Motion Picture Association, a fitting partnership given that the Hollywood sign turns 100 this year. 

“Let’s get on with the show!” Maria, Leigh and Gail declared to the full crowd in attendance. 

After initial remarks, and a brief lunch service, Tina Simmons, SVP, Comcast Cable, welcomed our 2023 host: the incredibly talented, award-winning Telemundo 52 Los Angeles news anchor, Alejandra Ortiz.  

“As a woman in media, I know firsthand how important it is to work for media organizations who are committed to advancing women both in front and behind the camera,” Alejandra said. “A woman’s perspective in shaping the way we tell stories that impact our communities each day is not just important, but essential.” 

With that, Alejandra announced our ten top operator and programmer honorees on stage, as they accepted their awards and brought to light the strides their companies have made to improve the diversity efforts among their team.  

Each company shared a brief video to demonstrate the diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging efforts in their workplace—including the actionable steps their teams have placed to close this gap.  

“It is truly an honor to accept this award on behalf of everyone at Comcast who helps foster our inclusive culture and ensure Comcast is a place where women can grow and thrive in their careers,” said Loren Hudson, SVP and Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast Corporation. “In my role as Chief Diversity Officer, I have the distinct privilege of overseeing a number of development and coaching programs and partnership that help women advance professionally and lead inclusively.” 

Here are some of the examples our honorees shared, about the strides their companies have made to improve diversity: 

Donna Chatman, Division Vice President, Cable One, shared “that as of year-end 2022, women represented 33 percent of Cable One’s total associates, 37 percent of management-level positions and 60 percent of our 10-member Board of Directors, including our Chair of the Board, President and CEO, Julie Laulis.”  

Kathleen Finch, Chairman and Chief Content Officer, U.S. Networks Group from Warner Bros. Discovery, said that “Today, the Warner Bros. Discovery global workforce is closing the gap on being 50% female—and that number includes manager level to executive level positions.” 

AMC Networks’ Chief People & Diversity Officer, Aisha Thomas-Petit, shared how “incredibly proud [she is to be a] part of a leadership team and company that is 50% women.”  

Kia Painter, EVP and Chief People Officer with Cox Communications, and member of The WICT Network Global Board, stated that “This year, we are adding on to our commitment to improve executive people of color representation by 50% by the end of 2026, [in addition], we added on a 10% improvement in the enterprise Director+ representation of women by the end of 2028.” 

Revolt’s Head of Human Resources, Pat Cabello, said that “80% of our company are People of Color. We recognize that the strength of our organization lies in the varied backgrounds, experiences and perspectives of our employees.” 

In addition to sharing the statistics and measures their companies have made, our PAR honorees also shared what The WICT Network means to them: 

The WICT Network has propelled our careers forward. From their powerful education programs like Rising Leaders and BMLI, to their numerous networking and mentoring opportunities, the WICT Network has and continues to open countless doors of opportunity,” said Jane Rice, EVP, Content Distribution & Marketing, A&E Networks. 

“I couldn’t imagine life in our industry without The WICT Network,” said Rhonda Crichlow, SVP & Chief Diversity Officer, and member of The WICT Network Global Board. “The WICT Network’s thoughtful and intentional development of women at all levels has helped us to hire and promote more female leaders, directly contributing to our business success.” 

“I’ve been a board member of The WICT Network for eight years now and I can attest to the power that this organization has in elevating our in-house efforts at each of our companies to bring us together,” said Jen Neal, EVP, Entertainment Live Events & Specials, NBCUniversal Television & Streaming, and former member of The WICT Network’s Global Board. “It is an amazing place where we come to learn, to laugh, to make long lasting relationships.” 

Ann McGlennen, Chief Human Resources Officer for Midco, said “Our partnership with The WICT Network has taught us many things: how to lead with power and authenticity, how to navigate complex conversations around gender and racial equity, social justice and belonging, and how to bring others along.” 


Thank you for joining us at the 2023 Signature Awards Luncheon. To stay connected to The WICT Network and other industry events, please download our member app through the Google Play or Apple store. We hope to see you on the East Coast at our Leadership Conference and Touchstones Luncheon, September 18-19, at the Marriott Marquis in New York.