When I was first asked to participate in a WICT mentor golf tournament in Tucson about 10 years ago, I naturally wondered if being part of a group called Women in Cable Television would be the right fit for me.
Since then, just seeing how many female leaders and technicians in my group have been involved and engaged, and seeing how much they got out of it has proven to me that WICT is a great place to put my energy. What started out as a chance to serve those leaders and technicians as they progress in their careers has turned out to also be a huge opportunity for me to network with incredible people from all across our industry.
It would be easy, looking in from the outside, to think of WICT as just a "women's club," something that's not for men. But that's not true, and it's not fair to the many outstanding professionals – male and female – who find WICT to be a great resource. It's very inclusive, and I've learned a lot from being involved.
As a leader, I want my leadership team to look like the communities we serve, so making sure we're finding and developing talent from all diverse backgrounds is a key to our success. We're getting there, but we have to continue to make the investment in our people today to build for an even better tomorrow. Being a part of WICT helps me achieve those goals and much more.
My advice? Take the leap. It's not as uncomfortable as you might think. You'll be investing in other people, men or women, and to me that's what leadership is all about.
Get involved with WICT; you'll be missing a big opportunity if you don't!
Western Regional Sales Manager
Often times luck is the key driver in creating opportunities. I first learned about WICT in a previous role when I was fortunate enough to share a table with WICT Southwest board members at a trade show earlier this year. I enjoyed learning about their chapter and was immediately entrenched and intrigued.
When I first joined the cable industry a few years ago, I was new to the technology sector. To be able to ramp up and train properly on products, it was necessary to attend many seminars and read as many articles as possible. I soon came to realize two things. Number one: on site learning is key to building a knowledge portfolio. Number two: joining groups such as SCTE and WICT to increase networking opportunities benefit not only me, but my internal and external customers as well. Meeting these folks and seeing the true nature of the beast was huge for me in my career.
To be fair, many of the members come from MSOs, as it should be. I hope more vendors will come to play an important role in the growth of organizations like WICT, creating collaborations within the vendor to end user space. Growing relationships is great. Growing knowledge is KEY.
Here is the funny thing about WICT. The focus is on women in the telecommunications field, but you soon come to realize it is more an organization of mutual interests in making all of our lives better within the scope of our work, regardless of our creed, color, or gender. This is what makes WICT wonderful.
I have met many people through WICT, both men and women. I am honored to support WICT Southwest financially with sponsorship funds. I am happy to lend my voice to this robust and growing community.
WICT Southwest 2017 Partner of the Industry Award Recipient
Director of Divisional Operations for North East Division
Curiosity usual breaks the ice when I attend a local WICT meeting or event. Some ask how I came to be a WICT member? Why support a women’s group in telecommunications? I smile and joyfully share my story.
When I first joined cable in the early 90’s, I was new to the technology and industry. To get acclimated, I attend a large number of training seminars covering various topics, most around standard topics ranging from Time Management to cable financials. Usually very boring and forgettable seminars.
However, I came across a training series offered by WICT in cooperation with NAMIC, the organization which got me into cable. The training was a comprehensive introduction about the industry, it history, and how to manage competitively and successfully. It was the first training that provided clarity about, how to not only survive in the industry, but provided the framework to blaze trails, which I still use today. I met incredible, knowledgeable and confident women who welcomed me with open arms and shared their experiences.
The support didn’t stop there, WICT would continue to reach out to me to see how I was progressing, provide networking opportunities and advice regardless of my age, race and/or gender.
I have enjoyed a very successful career since that initial training in Denver. WICT has been with me every step of the way. It is for that reason, why I will continue to support the cause WICT stands for the rest of my career.
Business Fulfillment Manager
He is responsible for the day to day operations of the Business Fulfillment team whose responsibilities are end-to-end order management, including order entry, scheduling of installation, quality assurance, and pre-installation customer care for business-level customers.
Over the course of the last 5 months I myself have joined WICT, signed up for the Volunteer and Outreach committee while also helping local events as the greeter or at the sign in desk.I have had an opportunity to build relationships with various people,across various organizations who have become a great source of knowledge and support for me.
Being a new manager it has beena true blessing to cultivate new relationships and have an extra layer of support to bounce ideas off of, talkt hrough challenges, and just learn about yourself. It has been an amazing experience so far and I cannot wait to continue moving forward.
Stand up and join arms with your brothers and sisters. Real Men join The WICT Network.
Hello WICT! My name is Cary Westmark and I am the Vice President of Information Technology at Sparklight. As a 30-year veteran in technology, when first I heard about WICT, I thought it was an organization of women helping to develop men become more graceful leaders! This is likely because almost all my mentors have been women. One of the most influential people in my life and career was my mother who taught me the value of hard work, being dependable and trustworthy. My mom was a single parent of 5 kids and who worked 3 jobs. She must have loved us!!!
Another very influential person in my life was a woman named Nancy Bozich, who was my boss and mentor for almost a decade. I valued her leadership so greatly that I followed her from one employer to another. Through her daily interactions, Nancy instilled the importance of listening, clear communications and understanding what “the voice of the customer” meant. She was also the first to introduce me to the concepts of continuous process improvement.
Over the past 3+ years, I’ve had the benefit of guidance, advice and counsel from our very own leader, Julie Laulis (President and CEO of Sparklight). And to top it off, my favorite author and business leadership guru, is none other than Patty Azzarello (Former VP of Hewlett Packard). She is amazing! I do admit that I’ve had a few men as mentors, though by and large it has been women in leadership positions that have shaped my life and career.
So, after my friends at WICT corrected my misperception of what WICT was all about, I gladly volunteered to participate. I’m still new to the organization and have helped in a few small activities, such as arranging for golf professionals from Troon Golf (my old employer) to participate in a mentorship event and I’m currently serving on the mentor program committee. I hope that I can contribute to the group in some way as I join you in the journey and I’m also looking forward to the many learning opportunities that are coming my way!
Thanks for having me.
Senior Vice President
Southwest Region Manager
I’m extremely proud that Cox Communications does such a great job promoting and advancing women into leadership roles. Supporting Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) is an important part of that process, because it’s an opportunity to watch future leaders in action.
It’s no coincidence that many women who now have leadership roles at Cox have had leadership roles with WICT. They developed their skills, including how to bring people from different backgrounds together and how to motivate people, by serving on WICT committees and the board. It’s a great way to grow and get exposure.
I personally feel that men who see the ‘W’ in WICT and think it’s not for them are being incredibly short- sighted. Any organization that is about empowering employees should be supported by everyone in our company.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, you should join WICT for the incredible networking opportunity and the chance to be associated with some very talented, motivated individuals in our company and our business. It’s a terrific opportunity to learn and grow.
Every time I’m with WICT members or at a WICT event, I’m reminded that as leaders, we need to do everything we can to make sure there aren’t artificial barriers to our people’s success. WICT shows me there is so much talent and leadership capability out there that we’ve got to make sure we’re not doing anything to block that.
And there’s a personal side to this for me: I’m the father of two young professional women who have launched their careers. I hope that in their chosen fields, they have an organization like WICT to help them grow and develop. I also hope they work with men who recognize the value of supporting it, just as men in our organization should and do support WICT.