The 2013 WICT Signature Luncheon was held on June 10 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, in conjunction with The Cable Show. The Signature Luncheon is the premier industry event where distinguished leaders come together to recognize the year’s inspiring achievements in support of women in the cable industry.
WICT is proud to acknowledge that the cable industry represents some of the country’s best corporate citizens. This is certainly the case with regard to the industry’s efforts to shine a spotlight on issues that affect women. At this year’s Signature Luncheon, WICT recognized stand-out achievements by presenting the WICT Signature Spirit Accolades to exceptional operators, programmers and a civic entity that champion community and public service programs in support of women’s initiatives. Style Network’s Louise Roe hosted the event and Mignon Clyburn, acting chairwoman of the FCC, was our featured guest speaker.
Pictured (l to r): Back Row – Glenn Britt, Chairman & CEO, Time Warner Cable; David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation
Middle Row – Mignon Clyburn, Acting Chairwoman, FCC; Ann Stock, Assistant Secretary of State, Educational & Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Laura Gentile, Vice President, espnW; Christine Driessen, EVP & CFO, ESPN; Louise Roe (host); Toby Graff, SVP, Public Affairs, USA Network; Salaam Coleman Smith, President, Style Media; Mary Meduski, EVP & CFO, Suddenlink Communications
Front Row – Abbe Raven, Chairman, A+E Networks; Maria E. Brennan, CAE, President & CEO, WICT
(all photos by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for WICT)
The 2013 honorees included cable operators Comcast, for its Internet Essentials program, and Time Warner Cable and its Connect a Million Minds initiative. Programmer honorees included Lifetime’s Your Life. Your Time. Your Vote. campaign, and USA Network’s Characters Unite program. The U.S. State Department and espnW also received a Signature Spirit Accolade for their collaborative work on the Global Sports Mentoring Program. To read more about each of this year’s outstanding honorees, see below.
Maria E. Brennan, CAE, President & CEO, WICT
Salaam Coleman Smith, President, Style Media
Mignon Clyburn, Acting Chairwoman, FCC
Special thanks to our volunteers from the Virginia and Washington DC/Baltimore Chapters for their help in making the WICT Signature Luncheon a huge success!
Comcast Corporation – Internet Essentials
Pictured (l to r): Louise Roe; David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation
Internet Essentials from Comcast is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. It provides low-cost broadband service for $9.95 a month plus tax; the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for under $150; and multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online, and in-person. Eligible families must have at least one child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program, including public, private, parochial and homeschooled students. As of the end of 2012, Comcast has connected more than 150,000 households, or approximately 600,000 Americans, to broadband Internet at home, most for the very first time. According to the Department of Agriculture, 31% of the children who qualify for free lunches live in single-parent homes with a female head of household.
Time Warner Cable – Connect a Million Minds®
Pictured (l to r): Louise Roe; Glenn Britt, Chairman & CEO, Time Warner Cable
Time Warner Cable’s (TWC) Connect a Million Minds (CAMM) is a five-year, $100 million cash and in-kind philanthropic initiative to address America’s declining proficiency in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), which puts our children at risk of not competing successfully in a global economy. Using its media assets, TWC creates awareness of the issue and inspires students to develop the STEM skills they need to become the problem solvers of tomorrow. Girls are a particular target of STEM recruitment efforts, as women make up half of the workforce in the US, but fill only 24% of STEM-related jobs, according to a 2009 report by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Lifetime – Your Life. Your Time. Your Vote.
Pictured (l to r): Louise Roe; Abbe Raven, Chairman, A+E Networks
First launched in 1992 and continued through every presidential election cycle, Lifetime’s signature election campaign, Your Life. Your Time. Your Vote., is our country’s only nonpartisan effort dedicated to amplifying women’s voices in the political process, encouraging them to register to vote, speak out on the issues they care about and run for office. Lifetime has been a leader in creating a national dialogue about women’s national leadership in politics and issues they care about most for the last twenty years.
USA Network – Characters Unite
Pictured (l to r): Louise Roe; Toby Graff, SVP, Public Affairs, USA Network
Characters Unite, USA Network’s award-winning public service program, was created to address the social injustices and cultural divides still prevalent in our society. Inspired by USA Network’s iconic “Characters Welcome” brand and with the support of leading national nonprofit organizations, the ongoing campaign is dedicated to supporting activities and messaging that combat prejudice and intolerance while promoting greater understanding and acceptance — on-air, online, and in communities across the country. As part of the initiative for Characters Unite Month, USA created special episodes of its hit series “Suits,” as well as related public service announcements and digital content, addressing issues of gender inequality and discrimination in the workplace. This provided the opportunity for a direct discussion of women’s advancement opportunities.
U.S. Department of State & espnW – Global Sports Mentoring Program
Pictured (l to r): Louise Roe; Christine Driessen, EVP & CFO, ESPN; Laura Gentile, Vice President, espnW; Ann Stock, Assistant Secretary of State, Educational & Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Harnessing the power of mentoring, the State Department’s Global Sports Mentoring Program, in collaboration with espnW, connects international and American women to build capacity and create sustainable sports opportunities for underserved women and girls worldwide. In the fall of 2012, 17 women, ages 25-40, who were identified as emerging leaders in sports, traveled to the United States where they were paired with leading American women who work in a sports-related field. This mentoring program builds on former Secretary Clinton’s vision of “smart power,” which embraces the full range of diplomatic tools—in this case mentoring and sports—to empower women and girls and foster greater understanding.