PAR, AIM Surveys Highlight Diversity Week

The unveiling of WICT and NAMIC’s biannual diversity employment survey for the cable industry highlights the industry’s annual Diversity Week festivities kicking off today (Sept. 25).

The week’s festivities — which will include Women in Cable Telecommunications’ daylong Leadership Conference and Touchstones Luncheon today, the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications’ s 31st Annual Conference on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the annual Walter Kaitz Foundation fundraising dinner Wednesday evening — will be highlighted by a Tuesday morning Town Hall announcing the results of WICT’s PAR Cable Telecommunications Industry Diversity Survey and NAMIC’s AIM (Advancement Investment Measurement) AIM-PAR Workforce Survey. That research is geared to help companies determine the factors that influence the industry’s ability to recruit, retain and advance its workforce.

Related:NAMIC’s Annual Awards Now a Rite of Fall

Diversity advocates are hoping to build on results in the last report in 2015 that indicated modest increases for females and people of color in executives and senior-level managers, but declines in the number of full time female employees and promotion rates for people of color compared to the 2013 NAMIC AIM report.

Other key Diversity Week events include:

WICT Leadership Conference
Journalist and author Katie Couric will open the annual WICT Leadership Conference, which will feature as its theme “Level Up. Focus Forward,” WICT president and CEO Maria Brennan said.

“We’ve seen so much of the industry evolving over the last two or three years, and part of that evolution is ensuring that the women inside of our universe remain focused,” Brennan said. “We want to make sure women continue to advance, that they are leveling up and they are focusing forward for the good of themselves as well as the good of their organization and the industry.”

Actress, producer and director Trudie Styler will deliver keynote remarks at the organization’s Touchstones Luncheon, which will honor the 2017 Women of the Year, BBC America president and general manager Sarah Barnett and Comcast executive vice president and chief communications officer D’Arcy Rudnay.

Gretchen Carlson, the TV journalist and women’s empowerment advocate, will open the second day of the conference with a keynote based on her new book, Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back. The conference will conclude with the WICT’s “Pearls of Wisdom” series of mini-keynotes.

31st Annual NAMIC Conference
The theme for NAMIC’s annual conference is “Diversity at the Speed of Change,” which reflects and captures the rapid innovation and change that has been going on in the cable business, according to NAMIC president Eglon Simons.

“While we look at all the different changes and things that are going on within the industry, we can talk about diversity, advocacy and inclusion because that never goes away,” he said. “The conference brings a confluence of people — young and old — that must have their appetites and their knowledge expanded.”

Veteran journalist John Quiñones, host of What Would You Do?, will serve as the keynote speaker for the two-day conference, which will be highlighted by an impressive roster of industry business leaders and experts.

The conference will culminate with NAMIC Awards Luncheon, which will feature the organization’s 2017 Next Generation Leaders Awards. Also during the luncheon NAMIC will honor U.S. Tennis Association CEO and president Katrina Adams with the Mickey Leland Humanitarian Achievement Award.

The Walter Kaitz Foundation Dinner
The 34th annual Walter Kaitz Foundation Dinner, which helps fund diversity-themed programs and organizations within the cable industry, will look to best last year’s fundraising mark of more than $1.7 million. To keep things lively, the dinner will feature appearances by Sean “P Diddy” Combs and Insecure co-star Yvonne Orji, according to foundation officials.

HBO will be honored as the foundation’s Diversity Champion, an award given to organizations that act as catalysts for diversity throughout the cable industry.

Girls Who Code will receive the Diversity Advocate Award, presented to an organization outside of the cable industry that has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to diversity.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.