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Catching Up With … Grace Killelea: Ex-Comcast Exec Is Still Recruiting

Don’t accuse Grace Killelea of going halfspeed on anything. The former Comcast senior vice president of talent and Multichannel News 2011 Wonder Woman set up her own Philadelphia consulting firm — Grace Killelea Consulting — shortly after retiring from the cable operator last July.

And this April, she will launch Half the Sky Leadership Institute, a new venture aimed at helping high-potential female executives across a variety of industries move up the corporate ladder. Named after a Chinese proverb that says women hold up half the sky (and not affiliated with the not-for-profit Half the Sky Movement, nor the best-selling book and documentary Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide), Killelea’s organization takes women with seven to 10 years of management experience through a series of classes and webinars to strengthen their leadership skills, business acumen and executive presence.

The program consists of six in-classroom sessions at the institute’s Philadelphia headquarters, interim connections and ongoing leadership development through alumnae forums. The focus is on topics that build competencies on results, relationships, reputation and resilience.

Killelea told The Wire there has been a lot of focus over the years on getting women into management roles, but not much on helping them advance up the ladder. She cites statistics that show 55% of the people entering the workforce are women, but only 37% of managers are female. The percentage drops to 28% when you get to the senior director and vice president level, she said.

She said Half the Sky’s mission is to stop those “leaks” in the middle of the management pipeline, giving women “the hard and soft skills they need to not only get them ready,” for advancement, “but to keep them motivated.”

The faculty includes women business leaders and educators, such as former Comcast and Adelphia Communications human resources vice president Regina Hutchinson, health and wellness facilitator Karla Chin, and author and consultant Dr. Cathy Greenberg.

Killelea said about 50 women from the Philadelphia area will participate in the inaugural classes, representing pharmaceutical, manufacturing, aerospace and banking companies. The first classes will be limited to the Philadelphia area, but Killelea said she hopes to expand to Atlanta next year. On her radar are possible satellite offices in Chicago, Boston and Denver, depending on demand.

Docket to Me! Sunlight Foundation Aids FCC Searches

For Federal Communications Commission docket groupies searching for the latest filing on program access or retransmission consent (come on, we know you’re out there), the Sunlight Foundation has come up with a new tool in its toolkit of online government info trackers: The Docket Wrench.

The FCC already has a pretty handy tool itself in the electronic-comment filing system (ECFS). But Sunlight’s database includes 3.5 million documents across 300 different agencies and monitors comments from hundreds of thousands of companies.

It also has a “visualization tool” that will allow for some whiz-bang drill-downs to ferret out form-letter comments supplied by lobbyists and others. Sunlight Labs, the nonprofit’s in-house tech department, developed a tool that “displays similar comments within a rulemaking docket to identify commonly used comment language, and to catch form letter writers in the act.”

Sunlight calls the tool helpful in discovering “how federal agencies are fine-tuning public policy.” Another way to put: It’s a peek into the kitchen to see what goes into the sausage.

At any rate, Sunlight has scheduled a Feb. 5 tutorial for anyone looking to become master of a particular docket domain.

— John Eggerton