Signature Luncheon

Held April 19, 2024 at Cipriani 42nd Street, New York

The 2024 Signature Luncheon

Platinum PAR Awards: Celebrating 20 Years of DEI Excellence

In April 2024, The WICT Network held an exciting celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the PAR workplace diversity survey. In celebration of the anniversary, we created a special recognition for the six companies that have most consistently ranked at the top based on their PAR survey results.


The 2024 Platinum PAR Operators: 

  • Comcast
  • Cox Communications
  • Midco

The 2024 Platinum PAR Programmers:

  • NBCUniversal
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Warner Bros. Discovery

The luncheon took place in New York at Cipriani 42nd Street on Friday, April 19, 2024 following The Cable Center’s Hall of Fame Celebration the prior evening.

The WICT Network’s Vice Chair, Michelle Rice, President of TV One and CLEO TV, opened the program for the packed audience of hundreds of friends and supporters who came together at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York.

Michelle Rice

Stephanie Ruhle joined Michelle Rice on stage for a lively conversation.

During the lively conversation, Stephanie gave career advice to the audience, saying, “Every single job is about relationships. Whether it’s relationships with your customers, with your audience, with your colleagues. Create a positive environment around you, and that positive energy then resonates.”

She also advised those looking to move up to focus on succeeding at their jobs first, before seeking out a mentor or sponsor. “Sometimes people are so focused on the climb upward they lose sight of what’s around them. You need to grind out and get your tasks done and then dig in – find that extra energy. Look to the right and look to the left and figure out what else is out there. Kick ass at your job first.”

The WICT Network’s President & CEO Maria Brennan & Global Board Chair Leigh Woisard

Following the lunch service, The WICT Network’s Global Board Chair Leigh Woisard and President & CEO Maria Brennan took to the stage to celebrate 20 years of the PAR Initiative, and present the Platinum PAR Awards to the deserving honorees. As Leigh stated, “This milestone allows us to reflect on the profound impact the PAR Survey has had in shaping corporate cultures and driving meaningful and measurable progress.” Maria echoed this sentiment, adding, “We are thrilled to also use this occasion to applaud six companies that have most consistently risen to the top of the PAR Survey over the last 20 years.”

Leigh Woisard, Lori LeBas and Maria Brennan.

Next up was The Walt Disney Company’s Lori LeBas, EVP of Platform Distribution Operations. The company is grateful to The WICT Network for its recognition. As Lori stated, “We could not do this vital work without partners such as The WICT Network, a long-established champion for advancing women throughout the media, entertainment and technology sectors.”

Ann McGlennen

Midco was the next company to be recognized, and accepting their award was Ann McGlennen, Chief Human Resources Officer, who encouraged those in the room to continue their efforts to building more inclusive work environments. “Being recognized as a Platinum PAR Award winner is humbling and affirming. To everyone here today and involved in The WICT Network, thank you for your ongoing commitment to positively impacting women in our industry. We are better together!”

Asif Sadiq

The next honoree was Warner Bros. Discovery. Asif Sadiq, Chief Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, came to the podium to accept on their behalf. “Being recognized with a Platinum PAR Award is especially enriching as we continue our efforts to empower women and promote diversity, equity and inclusion in our workplaces and throughout the industry. Warner Bros. Discovery is a proud, longstanding supporter of The WICT Network and as a Touchstone Partner, we look forward to our continued alliance in this space.”

Val Boreland & Tina Simmons

The final award recognized a dual honoree, Comcast NBC Universal, which has been a steady supporter of PAR since its inception. Val Boreland, EVP, Content Acquisitions, NBCUniversal Entertainment, and Tina Simmons, Executive Vice President HR XGIE, Comcast Cable Corporation, were on hand to accept the awards.

In accepting the honor, Val expressed gratitude to all those who stand with Comcast NBCUniversal in seeking to create inclusive environments where all can thrive. “To the countless women and allies in this room and beyond, who stand with us in investing in women, helping them see what’s possible, and supporting them as they grow into their greatness – we thank you.”

Tina built on that by saying, “We are grateful to The WICT Network for 20 years of empowering our next generation of women leaders in media, entertainment, and technology.”

Rhonda Crichlow

Rhonda Crichlow, Senior Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, Charter Communications, closed the program by thanking those in attendance for their ongoing support of The WICT Network and its efforts. “As we reflect on the strides we’ve made in embracing DEI, it’s uplifting to see so many dedicated individuals gathered here, committed to fostering a culture of acceptance and equality. When we work together, great things happen.”

All photos by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for The WICT Network

The Signature Luncheon is The WICT Network’s key gender diversity and inclusion platform. Each year, we showcase thought leaders from both inside and outside the industry to highlight the business case for gender diversity in the media and around the world. This event provides corporate sponsors numerous strategic opportunities to reach a talented and diverse audience while enhancing their corporate profile as leaders in support of gender diversity and inclusion.

During the 2023 Signature Awards Luncheon, The WICT Network recognized the following top operators and programmers for their strong gender DEI efforts, based on data collected by the survey administrator, PwC. At the luncheon, 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.   

Click here to read more from our event.


The WICT Network hosted a sell-out crowd with over 20 sponsor companies at The Plaza Hotel in New York City for its 2022 Signature Awards Luncheon, one of the organization’s key gender diversity platforms. An impressive roster of industry executives and leaders from across the media landscape celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX.

Click here to find pictures from our event.