The WICT Leadership Conference is underway on Monday, September 25th and 26th in New York City. For those who are not able to join the fun, Anne Loescher and Karli Sanders, board members for the WICT Southeast chapter, will keep us updated on the affair.
Anne Loescher is the 2017 President of WICT Southeast, as well as the Senior Director of Strategy & Planning for Creative Services at the Katz Networks (Bounce, Grit, Escape, and Laff). She has been a member of WICT since 2013 and is based in Atlanta. This will be Anne’s fourth WICT Leadership Conference.
Based in Knoxville, Karli Sanders is the 2017 Special Events Director for WICT Southeast, as well as Corporate Marketing Manager of Scripps Networks Interactive where she is responsible for a broad range of external communications projects. In 2016, Karli was chosen to participate in WICT’s Rising Leader’s program. This will be Karli’s first WICT Leadership Conference.
From Anne (11:11 am EST):
From Karli (11:42 am EST):
This is my first year attending the conference and I really didn’t know what to expect. Imagine my surprise when NYC’s first all-female mariachi band opened the first session! That definitely set the stage for everything to come.
Katie Couric’s opening keynote was full of funny and inspiring anecdotes from her professional journey, as well her roles as a wife, mother and daughter. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s keynote with Gretchen Carlson. It’s entitled ‘Be Fierce’!”
From Anne (1;57pm EST):
After lunch, I attended “Changing Lanes: Creating a Roadmap for Success,” which featured panelists who have shifted gears, changed industries, or navigated mergers. This conversation resonated with me because I have worked in several different areas within the media industry, so it’s exciting to hear from these women who have been extremely successful while following non-linear paths. Panelist Rhonda Crichlow advised, “When opportunity knocks, you have to be prepared to open the door.”
From Anne (3:16pm EST):
In the late afternoon program “Rut Resistant: Moving from Intuition to Action,” speaker Robin Fisher Roffer had some great quotes that really drive home our 2017 Touchstone theme, “Be Fearless.”
“Fearlessness is measured between the moment you get an intuition and the moment you take action.”
From Karli (8:30pm EST):
The speed mentoring sessions were jam-packed full of great advice from industry leaders. I have to go home and complete some homework assignments from a few of the mentors I met with. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get a few minutes with an executive you’d probably never have the chance to meet.
Anne and Karli are back with more updates. Here’s what they have to say today:
From Anne (9:09am EST):
Gretchen Carlson kicked off the second day of the Leadership Conference. I applaud her bravery in speaking out against sexual harassment, but find it infuriating that so many women are still subjected to this, and that harassers are so often protected by a culture of silence. As Gretchen stated, “We should all care about taking this issue out of the shadows.”
From Karli (9:48 am EST):
Tina Simmons, SVP of Human Resources at Comcast, sat on a panel with other HR and diversity officers for a panel discussing how we can recognize allies across our industry to address unconscious bias in our companies. I was particularly challenged to not only seek out allies in my company, but to also lean in and be an ally to break the cycle of systemic bias we all unfortunately fall into at times.”
From Anne (9:56am EST):
In the morning session, “Activating Allies: Uniting Against Unconscious Bias,” moderator Jennifer Brown asked Angela Santone about how she first came to be an ally for the LGBT community. Angela recounted that when she was in the 9th grade, her best friend came out to her: “I didn’t know what an ally was, but I knew what a friend was.” Now in her role at Turner, Angela continues to be a friend and ally by serving as the executive sponsor for the company’s LGBT employee resource group, and Tina Simmons does the same at Comcast. Panelist Deepali Bagati said, “It’s your job as a leader to inquire across differences.” LeVoyd Carter stressed the importance of build awareness as he told the story of how he helped an executive at his company move from not understanding the point of diversity and inclusion, to being a champion for diversity and inclusion.
From Karli (11:31am EST):
Anne and I just finished up one-on-one coaching sessions with some amazing career coaches. In only 25 minutes we both came away with a clearer direction on our career path and next steps. I highly recommend anyone going to next year’s conference take advantage of this opportunity.
From Anne (12:26pm EST):
In the closing general session, “Pearls of Wisdom,” five thought leaders shared their journeys and lessons learned. Alison Wright commented, “No matter how different we look, or how diverse we may seem, we’re really quite similar the world over” as she recounted her experiences traveling the world in her photograpy career. Alison told us about how she recovered from a near-fatal bus crash and went on to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro only two years later. If that doesn’t scream “Be Fearless” I don’t know what does.
From Karli (12:58pm EST):
During the closing general session, I was inspired by Reshma Saujani, the Founder & CEO of Girls Who Code, who said, “We teach our girls to be perfect and our boys to be brave.” Her statement resonated with me and made me especially grateful to my parents for raising me to be my best, but never focused on being perfect. They chose to not comment on my appearance as a young girl so I didn’t grow up thinking it was important. I owe the confidence and courage I possess as a grown woman in part to my parents. Although sometimes, they’d probably like to see my clothes less wrinkled.
The 2017 WICT Leadership Conference has officially wrapped. Thank you Anne and Karli for all your updates. If you didn’t attend, hopefully this will encourage you to start planning for the 2018 event. If you did attend the conference and would like to share your experience, feel free to post in the comments below.