WICT Announces Five Signature Spirit Accolades Winners

Women in Cable Telecommunications has announced the five recipients of its 2013 Signature Spirit Accolades, which honor exceptional operators and programmers, plus a civic entity that champions community and public service programs in support of women's initiatives.

The 2013 honorees are: Comcast, for its Internet Essentials program, and Time Warner Cable and its Connect a Million Minds initiative; and Lifetime's Your Life. Your Time. Your Vote. campaign and USA Network's Characters Unite program. Moreover, the U.S. State Department and ESPNW will also receive a Signature Spirit Accolade for their collaborative work on the “Global Sports Mentoring Program.”

The Accolades will be presented at the WICT Signature Luncheon, held in conjunction with The Cable Show, on Monday, June 10, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

The 2013 honorees include cable operators Comcast, for its Internet Essentials program, and Time Warner Cable and its Connect a Million Minds initiative. Programmer honorees include Lifetime's Your Life. Your Time. Your Vote. campaign, and USA Network's Characters Unite program. The U.S. State Department and espnW will also receive a Signature Spirit Accolade for their collaborative work on the Global Sports Mentoring Program.

"We are so proud of the significant role that the cable industry plays in shining a spotlight on issues relevant to women," said Maria Brennan, WICT president & CEO, in announcing the winners. "WICT is thrilled to recognize and celebrate their work by presenting the 2013 Signature Spirit Accolade to each of these deserving initiatives."

The following are WICT's description of the Accolades Awardees:

Comcast - Internet Essentials
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
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.
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
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 & ESPN Women (ESPNW) - Global Sports Mentoring Program
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.