Thank you for logging on and joining WICT virtually for its 2021 Leadership Conference. Hundreds attended the two-day event digitally and showed their excitement through chat feature options and social media.
Let’s re-experience some of the top sessions and moments from the conference, which opened with an exceptional piece of art created by the first U.S. female speed painter, Jessica Haas. This unique opening entertainment interlude was sponsored by Afiniti.
In their opening remarks, Sandy Howe, Technology Executive and WICT Global Board Chair, joined Maria E. Brennan, CAE, WICT President & CEO, to discuss what attendees could expect over the course of the conference. Next up, Dalila Wilson-Scott, EVP & Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast Corporation & President, Comcast Corporation and Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation, then spoke about WICT’s other educational programs and how COVID impacted women in the workplace. She then introduced a keynote conversation with Rashida Jones, President, MSNBC, and Stephanie Ruhle, MSNBC Anchor, NBC News Senior Business Correspondent.
“You have to love what you do to be on this team, what we do is a team sport,” said Jones.
Marleise Resick, an attendee said, “Many great takeaways from Dalila, Rashida and Stephanie. Thank you!”
The opening keynote conversation was sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal.
REVOLT sponsored the first general session, Power Panel: Thriving Amid Disruption. This session received a lot of positive feedback from attendees. After a short break, participants were able to choose from three concurrent sessions:
- Technology & Innovation: Tapping TikTok to Grow Your Business
- The Leading Edge: Human-Centered Leadership (sponsored by Crown Media)
- Master Classes: Mastering Your Voice: Secrets of a Top Vocal Coach (sponsored by TV One)
Attendees who missed a concurrent session are able to login to view any part of the conference through December 31, 2021.
The excitement continued to build as the highly anticipated Beyond the Hashtag: #LoveWins, presented with the support of the Walter Kaitz Foundation, was set to begin. The general session featured Niecy Nash, an Emmy-winning producer and twice-nominated actress.
“You’ve got every right to recreate or reimagine yourself at any moment in your life. Living your life in a way that you’re comfortable when you lay your head down at night is how you win at love.” – Niecy Nash.
Nash’s energy dazzled the audience as she spoke about her experiences with love, her career, and more through her session. The Beyond the Hashtag series continued with the panel discussion: Beyond the Hashtag: #LoveIsLove. Cox Communications sponsored both sessions.
“Sessions like this move us beyond hashtags to real action, measurable progress. So much wisdom and transparency from one panel,” said Maria Brennan, WICT President and CEO.
A+E Networks sponsored The Power of Range: The Secret to Success in Any Domain, which was presented by David Epstein, New York Times Best-Selling Author & Expert on the Science of High Performance. Throughout this session, Epstein examined some of the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists. Revealing that in most fields — especially those that are complex, unpredictable, and difficult to automate — generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel.
“This all reminds me of what one of my professors said in film school – ‘If you want to be a great filmmaker, you better know a lot about everything else too’ in other words, he highly encouraged us to take courses in other disciplines. I always think about that,” said attendee Sarah Dawson.
Day one’s last session included three champions who explored the winning traits of high-performing athletes and how specific traits can be seen and used in the workplace. Profiles of Champions, sponsored by Accenture, included:
- Julie Foudy, espnW Writer, Soccer Commentator, Features Reporter & Host, Disney & ESPN Media Networks
- Phaidra Knight, Former International Athlete, Sports Media Talent, Motivational Speaker, Lawyer & Business Entrepreneur
- Jen Welter, Ph.D., First Female NFL Coach, Sports Psychologist, Gold Medalist
Each panelist shared priceless strategies through their personal stories of trials and triumphs, which left attendees empowered.
Attendee, Alice Nelson-Sidibe said, “Courage comes from having a squad around you! Loved that Julie Foudy! We should all build our squad!”
The first day of the Leadership Conference concluded with One-on-One executive coaching, virtual networking roundtables and a dance fitness class.
Attendees began the second day of the conference with the same level of excitement shown on the first, beginning with yoga and One-on-One coaching sessions.
Then, Marva Johnson, GVP, State Government Affairs – South Region, Charter Communications and Immediate Past Chair, WICT Global Board of Directors, took the stage to talk about WICT’s successes.
“When you join WICT you become something bigger than yourself,” she said, during the opening remarks for Day 2.
Next, attendees chose from three concurrent sessions:
- Technology & Innovation: The Growth Playbook — Reaching Beyond Trends (sponsored by NCTA – The Internet & Television Association)
- The Leading Edge: Culture as a Competitive Edge (sponsored by Cable ONE)
- Master Classes: The Role of Neuroplasticity in Learning (sponsored by Grande/RCN/Wave Communications)
The keynote conversation with Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Anchor, CNN and Johnita Due, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, WarnerMedia News & Sports, sponsored by WarnerMedia, immediately followed the concurrent sessions. The keynote resulted in an abundance of positive comments.
“Mission and purpose was my driving force,” said Amanpour.
“Christiane Amanpour has a particular brand of magic and I am humbled in her presence,” said attendee, Angela Manring.
“We have to hold power accountable and the issue of power is something I’ve spent years analyzing. I never really expected to be doing this when I was a child,” said Amanpour.
“My mantra is be truthful not neutral,” added Amanpour.
Another round of One-on-One coaching and concurrent sessions followed the keynote. Attendees chose from the following:
- Technology & Innovation: Think Like a Founder (sponsored by Red Hat)
- The Leading Edge: Roundtables
- Master Classes: Leaning Into Conflict
AMC Networks sponsored the next session, Stronger Together: Supporting Gender Equity Through Male Allyship. The panel-style session featured leading presidents and C-suite executives who spoke about their advocacy for women within their workplaces and in the industry at large.
The conversation was moderated by Joiava Philpott, SVP & General Counsel, Law & Policy, Cox Communications. The panelists included: Pat Esser, President & CEO, Cox Communications; Dexter Goei, CEO, Altice USA; Alfred C. Liggins, III, Chairman, TV One, CEO & President, Radio One; and Christopher L. Winfrey, CFO, Charter Communications.
The last session of the conference, Pearls of Wisdom, sponsored by Charter Communications, offered several mini-keynotes from dynamic and innovative leaders. Martha Beck, New York Times Best-Selling Author, Sociologist and Life Coach; Allyson Felix, Most Decorated Woman in U.S. Track and Field History; Julie Laulis, Chair of the Board, President & CEO, Cable One, Inc.; and Stephanie Mitchko-Beale, EVP & Chief Technology Officer, Charter Communications, shared their journeys and transformational moments that helped shape their lives and careers.
The conference concluded with additional One-on-One coaching sessions. The sessions are available on-demand if you weren’t able to attend this year’s conference. Be on the lookout for news of next year’s conference! We hope to see you at the New York Marriott Marquis, October 10-11, 2022.