2022 Signature Luncheon Presenters & Guests

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It was great to see you!

On behalf of The WICT Network Global Board of Directors, our sponsors and special guests, we would like to thank you for joining us for the 2022 Signature Luncheon. We were delighted to convene the industry in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the groundbreaking statute prohibiting gender-based discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funding. Our hope is that you left the program inspired by the stories shared by each of our special guests and how this historic legislation affected their lives.

Above, from l-r: Dawn Porter, Aja Evans, Nicole Newnham, Laura Gentile (Member, The WICT Network Global Board of Directors), Allison Glock, Kathryn Tappen, and Jen Neal (Honorary Chair of the Signature Luncheon and Treasurer, The WICT Network Global Board of Directors).

The WICT Network’s Global Board Chair (right), Sandy Howe, and Vice Chair, Leigh Woisard, address the full house at the Signature Luncheon.

Johnita Due, Member, The WICT Network Global Board of Directors, addresses the full house at the Signature Luncheon.

Our guests enjoying the program in The Plaza Hotel’s Grand Ballroom.

These are just a few of the many photos from the action-packed afternoon. Stay tuned for a complete look back at the program in a special issue of our Pulse newsletter, coming to your inbox next week. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

The WICT Network proudly recognizes Comcast NBCUniversal as the Premier Sponsor of the Signature Luncheon, as well as Ruby Sponsor Charter Communications, Emerald Sponsor Paramount, and Champion Sponsor Accenture.

Photos by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for The WICT Network


It was great to see you!

On behalf of The WICT Network Global Board of Directors, our sponsors and special guests, we would like to thank you for joining us for the 2022 Signature Luncheon. We were delighted to convene the industry in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the groundbreaking statute prohibiting gender-based discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funding. Our hope is that you left the program inspired by the stories shared by each of our special guests and how this historic legislation affected their lives.

Above, from l-r: Dawn Porter, Aja Evans, Nicole Newnham, Laura Gentile (Member, The WICT Network Global Board of Directors), Allison Glock, Kathryn Tappen, and Jen Neal (Honorary Chair of the Signature Luncheon and Treasurer, The WICT Network Global Board of Directors).

The WICT Network’s Global Board Chair (right), Sandy Howe, and Vice Chair, Leigh Woisard, address the full house at the Signature Luncheon.

Johnita Due, Member, The WICT Network Global Board of Directors.

Our guests enjoying the program in The Plaza Hotel’s Grand Ballroom.

These are just a few of the many photos from the action-packed afternoon. Stay tuned for a complete look back at the program in a special issue of our Pulse newsletter, coming to your inbox next week. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

The WICT Network proudly recognizes Comcast NBCUniversal as the Premier Sponsor of the Signature Luncheon, as well as Ruby Sponsor Charter Communications, Emerald Sponsor Paramount, and Champion Sponsor Accenture.

Photos by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for The WICT Network


It was great to see you!

On behalf of The WICT Network Global Board of Directors, our sponsors and special guests, we would like to thank you for joining us for the 2022 Signature Luncheon. We were delighted to convene the industry in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the groundbreaking statute prohibiting gender-based discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funding. Our hope is that you left the program inspired by the stories shared by each of our special guests and how this historic legislation affected their lives.

Above, from l-r: Dawn Porter, Aja Evans, Nicole Newnham, Laura Gentile (Member, The WICT Network Global Board of Directors), Allison Glock, Kathryn Tappen, and Jen Neal (Honorary Chair of the Signature Luncheon and Treasurer, The WICT Network Global Board of Directors).

The WICT Network’s Global Board Chair (right), Sandy Howe, and Vice Chair, Leigh Woisard, address the full house at the Signature Luncheon.

Johnita Due, Member, The WICT Network Global Board of Directors, addresses the full house at the Signature Luncheon.

Our guests enjoying the program in The Plaza Hotel’s Grand Ballroom.

These are just a few of the many photos from the action-packed afternoon. Stay tuned for a complete look back at the program in a special issue of our Pulse newsletter, coming to your inbox next week. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

The WICT Network proudly recognizes Comcast NBCUniversal as the Premier Sponsor of the Signature Luncheon, as well as Ruby Sponsor Charter Communications, Emerald Sponsor Paramount, and Champion Sponsor Accenture.

Photos by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for The WICT Network


The WICT Network Celebrated Its Women of the Year and Women to Watch Honorees


The WICT Network converged in Times Square to celebrate the live and in-person Signature • Touchstones Luncheon at the Marriott Marquis. We were thrilled to convene the industry’s best and brightest as we announced The WICT Network’s highly-coveted Women of the Year and Women to Watch awards.

The WICT Network recognized the following outstanding honorees:

Woman of the Year – Operator
Noopur Davis, EVP, Chief Information Security and Product Privacy Officer
Comcast Corporation and Comcast Cable

Woman of the Year – Programmer
Nancy Daniels, Chief Brand Officer
Discovery & Factual

Woman to Watch – Operator
Sharon Peters, SVP, Marketing
Charter Communications

Woman to Watch – Programmer
Stephanie Yates, SVP, Research
AMC Networks

Woman to Watch – Technology
Reshma Patil Bijoor, Managing Director, Communications and Media Strategy
Accenture

Click here to read how each of our honorees exemplifies the Touchstones of Leadership and gain insight into their views on leadership.

The WICT Network is grateful to all of the sponsors of the
2021 Signature • Touchstones Luncheon

 

 

The WICT Network Celebrated Its Women of the Year and Women to Watch Honorees


The WICT Network converged in Times Square to celebrate the live and in-person Signature • Touchstones Luncheon at the Marriott Marquis. We were thrilled to convene the industry’s best and brightest as we announced The WICT Network’s highly-coveted Women of the Year and Women to Watch awards.

The WICT Network recognized the following outstanding honorees:

Woman of the Year – Operator
Noopur Davis, EVP, Chief Information Security and Product Privacy Officer
Comcast Corporation and Comcast Cable

Woman of the Year – Programmer
Nancy Daniels, Chief Brand Officer
Discovery & Factual

Woman to Watch – Operator
Sharon Peters, SVP, Marketing
Charter Communications

Woman to Watch – Programmer
Stephanie Yates, SVP, Research
AMC Networks

Woman to Watch – Technology
Reshma Patil Bijoor, Managing Director, Communications and Media Strategy
Accenture

Click here to read how each of our honorees exemplifies the Touchstones of Leadership and gain insight into their views on leadership.

The WICT Network is grateful to all of the sponsors of the
2021 Signature • Touchstones Luncheon

 

 

The WICT Network Celebrated Its Women of the Year and Women to Watch Honorees


The WICT Network converged in Times Square to celebrate the live and in-person Signature • Touchstones Luncheon at the Marriott Marquis. We were thrilled to convene the industry’s best and brightest as we announced The WICT Network’s highly-coveted Women of the Year and Women to Watch awards.

The WICT Network recognized the following outstanding honorees:

Woman of the Year – Operator
Noopur Davis, EVP, Chief Information Security and Product Privacy Officer
Comcast Corporation and Comcast Cable

Woman of the Year – Programmer
Nancy Daniels, Chief Brand Officer
Discovery & Factual

Woman to Watch – Operator
Sharon Peters, SVP, Marketing
Charter Communications

Woman to Watch – Programmer
Stephanie Yates, SVP, Research
AMC Networks

Woman to Watch – Technology
Reshma Patil Bijoor, Managing Director, Communications and Media Strategy
Accenture

Click here to read how each of our honorees exemplifies the Touchstones of Leadership and gain insight into their views on leadership.

The WICT Network is grateful to all of the sponsors of the
2021 Signature • Touchstones Luncheon

 

 

As the summer winds down and we reflect on the months that have passed, we are reminded of the importance of a world that celebrates both our similarities and our differences. With that in mind, we are pleased to recognize companies that embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion as a business imperative.

Welcome to the redesigned Signature Luncheon, brought to you as a video celebration. The virtual program showcases the exemplary work of the PAR Top Companies for Women to Work. Simply click the link below, and join us as we salute all the PAR Top Companies in honor of their efforts to build a more inclusive and equitable workplace. Let the celebration begin!

Congratulations to all of WICT’s PAR Top Companies for Women to Work, as measured by the 2019 PAR Workplace Diversity Survey:

ViacomCBS representation is based solely on CBS workforce data submitted prior to the merger and subsequent creation of ViacomCBS.

We would also like to show special appreciation to each of our program and event sponsors for their continued support. We’re grateful that they are a part of WICT’s all-important community as we innovate solutions that continue to demonstrate the strong business case for DEI.


 




A look back at the 2019 Signature Luncheon

The 2019 Signature Luncheon, WICT’s key gender diversity and inclusion platform, took place at The Plaza Hotel in New York City on Thursday, May 2, 2019. Industry leaders from across the country and abroad filled the hotel’s Grand Ballroom to celebrate WICT’s 40th anniversary during a very special luncheon designed to honor the past, celebrate the present, and imagine the future of WICT and the industry we represent. In a poignant opening segment that began with Lucille Larkin and Gail Sermersheim, WICT’s first Executive Director and Board Chair, respectively, a collective of WICT’s founders, foremothers and friends, each shared a brief statement defining what WICT means to them.

 

WICT founders, leaders and friends took to the stage to define what WICT means to them.

Maria E. Brennan, CAE, WICT President & CEO, addressed the group of opening speakers by saying, “You demonstrate that WICT is many things to many people. Though one common thread connects us — our commitment to equality.” Though the event was a celebration of WICT’s indelible impact on the industry, Brennan added, “By no means is our work here done. Far from it. In a new era of “Time’s Up,” the value of an organization like ours – one that supports gender diversity and inclusion – remains increasingly relevant and paramount to member companies. Because we know that by investing in women, we are creating a pipeline of leaders that will help innovate, inform and influence the industry for the next 40 years to come!”

Members of the WICT Global Board of Directors on stage during the 2019 Signature Luncheon.

Karen Buchholz, SVP of Administration, Comcast, and WICT Global Board Member, underscored the importance of WICT’s resources and the impact it has had on the company, “Comcast NBCUniversal has been proud to partner with WICT in driving visible growth in gender diversity and inclusion throughout our company’s workforce, from the frontline to the board room.”

Comcast’s Karen Buchholz speaks onstage during the WICT Signature Luncheon.

During his remarks to the sold-out audience, Charter President & CEO, Tom Rutledge, described WICT as “THE go-to source for women interested in both personal and professional development in the industry.”

Charter Communications’ Tom Rutledge speaks during the WICT Signature Luncheon.

Rutledge then introduced WICT’s commemorative video, which highlighted some of the milestones the organization has marked since its inception in 1979.

Before leaving the stage, Rutledge welcomed the first of three special guest speakers, Abbe Raven, Acting Chairman, A+E Networks. Reprising her renowned Pearls of Wisdom speech, Raven commended WICT for its successes but noted that there are still inroads to be made with regard to diversity and inclusion. “My wish was that there wasn’t a need for an organization like this, that if we did have a WICT it would be to celebrate the many joys of sisterhood. While we have much to applaud, we still have a mountain ahead to climb.”

Above, left to right: Speakers Egypt Sherrod, Abbe Raven and Kimberly Brooks at the WICT Signature Luncheon.

Anchor and Correspondent for ABC News Live, Kimberly Brooks, spoke next, recounting her early years and how her experiences contributed to her boundless ambition. “I remember the words my former boss said on my very last day: ‘What are you gonna go do, work for Oprah?’ I smiled and thought to myself ‘Yes, I am.’ He couldn’t see my vision…but it was precisely my plan.” Egypt Sherrod then addressed the crowd, urging the audience to “do what makes you happy.” The TV and radio show host and author revealed the hardships she encountered during in her career journey which led her to establish her foundation, the Egypt Cares Family Foundation. “I wanted to create the perfect reflection of my heart and what I felt I had to offer the world,” she added.

WICT Vice Chair Sandy Howe (left) and Chair Marva Johnson (right).

Following the three mini-keynotes, WICT Chair, Marva Johnson, VP, State Government Affairs – South Region, Charter Communications, and Vice Chair, Sandy Howe, EVP and President, Americas, Technetix, presented each “Pearls” speaker with a Diversity Champion Medal, specially commissioned by WICT for their commitment to gender equity. Each “Pearl” also received Tiffany pearls as a token of WICT’s gratitude.

Pat Esser and Leigh Woisard from Cox Communications onstage at the WICT Signature Luncheon.

Pat Esser, President of Cox Communications and Leigh Woisard, WICT Executive Committee Member and SVP, Corporate Public Affairs for Cox, introduced WICT’s very first Public Service Announcement and its accompanying #LeadWithMore social media campaign. The campaign is designed to increase the pipeline of women in the cable media industry, specifically in technology roles.

The celebration continued with Comcast’s Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, David L. Cohen and Martha Soehren, WICT’s Immediate Past Chair and Chief Talent Development Officer and SVP for Comcast NBCUniversal, announcing WICT had made a donation in Maria Brennan’s name to her favorite charity, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, in honor of Brennan’s 10th anniversary at the helm of WICT. Brennan then closed the lunch program with a toast to WICT’s next 40 years.

Comcast’s David Cohen (left) with Maria E. Brennan (right).

Photos by Larry Busacca & Ben Gabbe/Getty Images.


WICT gratefully acknowledges the sponsors of the 2019 Signature Luncheon

Scroll through 40 years of WICT history using the timeline below

A look back at the 2018 Signature Luncheon

Above: Members of the WICT Global Board of Directors at the 2018 Signature Luncheon with NCTA President & CEO, Michael Powell. From l-r: Amy Blair, Chief People Officer, Liberty Global; Debbie Stang, COO, Midco; Kathleen O’Reilly, Senior Managing Director, Accenture; Michael Powell; WICT Board Chair, Marva Johnson, Vice President, State Government Affairs – South Region, Charter Communications; Immediate Past Chair, Martha Soehren, Chief Talent Development Officer & SVP, Comcast University & Comcast Cable; and WICT President & CEO, Maria Brennan.

The 2018 Signature Luncheon, WICT’s key gender diversity and inclusion platform, took place at the New York Hilton Midtown on Wednesday, April 4, 2018. Industry leaders from across the country filled the hotel’s Grand Ballroom to recognize the achievements of the top operators and programmers for women to work, based on the 2017 PAR Workplace Diversity survey.

The awards portion of the program recognized the 2017 PAR Top Operators for Women to Work: Comcast Corporation, Cox Communications, Midco and Mediacom Communications Corporation; and the 2017 PAR Top Programmers for Women to Work: NBCUniversal, Discovery, Inc.and Disney ABC Television Group.

Scroll down to view more photos and read about the program.

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WICT President & CEO, Maria Brennan

WICT President & CEO, Maria Brennan opened the program with remarks that recalled the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., noting that this year’s luncheon took place on the 50th anniversary of his untimely death. Said Brennan, “Not a day to mourn the tragic loss; a day to treasure his life and his indelible legacy. I can’t think of a better backdrop to shine a light on our industry’s commitment to diversity and inclusion as we present the PAR Awards to honor the top companies for women to work, as measured by the 2017 PAR survey.”

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Jen Neal, member of the WICT Global Board of Directors and Executive Vice President, Marketing and Executive Producer, Live Events for E! Entertainment, served as the Honorary Chair for the
2018 WICT Signature Luncheon.

Honorary Chair, Jen Neal, praised the industry for recognizing that D&I is an imperative for all parts of a company, both internal and external, saying “we should all feel proud that diversity and inclusion is no longer a ‘check in the box’ initiative for our industry. It is a comprehensive strategy woven into every aspect of the business that enables us to create rich and authentic programming that reflects our diverse audiences.”

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Marva Johnson, Chair, WICT Global Board of Directors

Chair of the WICT Global Board of Directors Marva Johnson reiterated the need for empirical data in building the business case for gender diversity and inclusion. “That’s why the PAR Initiative is so important; it enables us to collect and widely disseminate the survey data and best practices – demonstrating that our industry is an excellent career path for women.”

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Our host, Stephanie Ruhle, NBC News correspondent and anchor of MSNBC Live.

This sentiment was shared later in the program by host Stephanie Ruhle, who stated “As a woman with a background in business and finance, I appreciate strategic business tactics that make companies more profitable. We know through data, as WICT routinely highlights, that strong workplace diversity and inclusion equals a stronger bottom line.”

Award Presentations: PAR Top Companies for Women to Work

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Rita Ferro, President of Advertising Sales, Disney ABC Television Group (left), accepting a PAR Top Programmer Award from host, Stephanie Ruhle.


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Savalle Sims, EVP & General Counsel, Discovery, Inc. (left), accepting a PAR Top Programmer Award from host, Stephanie Ruhle.
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Italia Commisso Weinand, EVP, Programming & Human Resources, Mediacom, accepting a Top Operator Award.
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WICT Global Board member Debbie Stang, Chief Operating Officer, Midco, accepting a Top Operator Award.
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Karen Bennett, EVP & Chief Human Resources Officer, Cox Communications (left), accepting a PAR Top Operator Award from host, Stephanie Ruhle.
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Pictured above with Stephanie Ruhle (center): NBCUniversal’s Christy Shibata, CFO, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, and David L. Cohen, Comcast’s Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, accepting the Top Programmer Award for NBCUniversal and Top Operator Award for Comcast.