3 Questions for the Taste of WICT – Knoxville Panelists

The Taste of WICT – Knoxville is today! Food, wine, and networking make for an exciting evening. Elianna Carlton, Kim Kanary, and Kenley Smith Early are our three amazing panelists and we want you to get to know them. We asked each panelist 3 questions leading up to the today’s event. Read all of their INSPIRING answers below. Still need to sign up for Taste of WICT- Knoxville? Go HERE to register.

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ECarltonElianna Carlton

Vice President, Human Resources Comcast

Our theme for WICT this year is INSPIRE. Who has INSPIRED you throughout your career and why?

EC: My father has been a huge inspiration throughout my life, specifically in my career. He has been in business for himself over 40 years. I have watched him masterfully handle situations with exemplar diplomacy. He is a man that has had significant challenges both professionally and personally, through adversity and perseverance, he overcame significant obstacles and is a renowned expert and author in his field. He has inspired me in my career (and in life) to learn from my mistakes, and continue to keep moving forward, while treating others with dignity and respect – regardless of the situation.

The Taste of WICT is a signature event and a great way for people to network. What three tips can you give our readers on the best way to network at these type of events?

EC: 1) Challenge yourself to meet 2 to 3 new people you have not met before.

2) When you meet new people exchange contact information and look to connect at a future date after the event.

3) If you are attending the event with friends and colleagues, invite those you do not know into the conversation, especially if they are by themselves.

How has WICT helped you throughout your career?

EC: WICT has helped me network and meet others that I would likely not have had the opportunity to do so otherwise. WICT has also helped me stay relevant on what is occurring in our industry and has opened my mind to new ideas.

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KKanary 01 (1)Kim Kanary

Vice President of Community Development & Engagement
Jewelry Television
Our theme for WICT this year is INSPIRE. Who has INSPIRED you throughout your career and why?
KK: Many people have inspired me throughout my career. I believe inspiration can come in moments big and small, positive and negative. I look for behaviors in others that I’d like to emulate, as well as those which I’d like to avoid. I’ve had some amazing mentors and supporters that have helped me get to where I am today. I’ve also had some detractors which I’ve been able to overcome – finding inspiration in less than desirable circumstances or interactions can provide some of our most significant lessons and growth opportunities, so when faced with this type of situation, I try to turn it into a positive – into a motivator and lesson. So, overall, I’d say that I really look for inspiration in all I do and have been fortunate to have been inspired by many over the years.
The Taste of WICT is a signature event and a great way for people to network. What three tips can you give our readers on the best way to network at these type of events?
KK: 1) When networking, look to make genuine connections with people. Building a network requires time and diligence, but stick with it – what you get out of it will be proportionate to the time and effort you invest into it.
2) Seek out people you admire in roles to which you eventually aspire. Request an informational interview so you can get tips and advice. Be sure to send them a genuine thank you card or email and maintain contact with them. Keep in touch with your network when you don’t need anything from them. This will enable you to establish genuine relationships, and then when you do need help, you’ll have more of any emotional bank account established with them from which you can withdraw.

3) Pay it forward. When someone asks you for advice or an informational interview, be sure to take the time to try to help despite your busy schedule. Remember all the people who helped you along the way and seek to do the same for others. You’ll find this to be very rewarding in return.

How has WICT helped you throughout your career?

KK: I am actually new to this group, but it’s certainly beneficial to develop camaraderie with people of similar backgrounds, industries or professional interests. Being part of groups that empower peer-to-peer learning and collaboration can be beneficial throughout one’s career.

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Kenley Smith Early

Director, Brand Marketing and Partnerships
Discovery, Inc.

Our theme for WICT this year is INSPIRE. Who has INSPIRED you throughout your career and why?

KE: It’s interesting to think about who’s inspired me over the past 20 plus years of my career. There are some people who stand out for positive reasons and some who stand out for not so great ones. Regardless, you learn from all experiences. It may not feel like that when you are in the thick of a situation, but someday you’ll look back and realize that you take something from every experience. I’ll start with someone who has always inspired me professionally…Shannon Driver, General Manager, US Brand Marketing, Discovery. I’ve worked with Shannon for several years in different capacities. However, in 2013, Shannon became my supervisor. At that time, I was a marketing manager and had had some professional challenges. Everything changed once I began reporting to Shannon. She believed in me and treated me as an equal. All those doubts I had about myself started to disappear and my professional confidence returned. Later that year, I was promoted to director. All I needed was someone to inspire me and guide me down the right path. Even though I no longer report directly to Shannon, she still inspires me. I’ve learned so much from her about the colleague, supervisor, and friend that I aspire to be.

Now let’s talk about personal inspiration. I’m incredibly fortunate to have a group of eleven women that I’ve been friends with for over 20 years. We met in high school and college and are still incredibly close to this day. We often use the following hashtag on our social media posts and text exchanges – #notnormal. As I write this, I think about the fact that our friendships really aren’t normal. Who has that many close friends that they see regularly for game nights and take girl’s trips once a year? Recently one of these ladies was diagnosed with breast cancer. The way this group has pulled together to support her has been incredibly inspirational to me. You see we’ve all had challenges – losing parents, divorces, work challenges, etc. but thru it all this group remains strong. I’ve always known they were special but the evening that I was at my house putting together a chemo basket for our dear friend and seeing all the care and effort that had gone into this, I was even more aware of the awesomeness of these ladies. They inspire me to be my best every day and for that I am truly thankful.

The Taste of WICT is a signature event and a great way for people to network. What three tips can you give our readers on the best way to network at these type of events?

KE: Let’s be honest networking is not easy for anyone. I’m an incredibly outgoing person and can talk to almost anyone, but I still find it challenging. The three tips I would offer are…first, you are not alone. Everyone in the room feels the same way…nervous. So bear that in mind when you attend events, do your best to chat with someone new and remember they are just as nervous as you. Second, come prepared. If you want to speak to a specific person, research them a bit and find something to ask them about, that always helps to break the ice and you never know what you may learn. Third, and this applies to situations where alcohol is being served, always limit yourself in professional situations. I will never forget being at a networking event many years ago and a colleague had entirely too much to drink. This person was slurring words and could not stand very well. Those are things people never forget and you don’t want to be judged on something like that later on.

How has WICT helped you throughout your career?

KE: WICT has played an important role in my career. Everything from attending the local networking opportunities, participating in conferences and seminars, and being a Rising Leaders graduate has helped build my professional confidence. As I said earlier, I’ve had some professional challenges in my 20 plus year career. However, my WICT involvement has always given me a sense of renewal. I love hearing about colleague’s career paths, their positive experiences, and challenges. It always makes me realize that I’m not alone in any situation and I have a very large group of women who can provide advice and guidance when needed.

What do you love about WICT? Part Three.

It’s Valentine’s Day! To celebrate in the spirit of the holiday, we asked some of our members to share what they love about WICT. We started sharing quotes on February 12th and today is the final day. See below to see what a few of them had to say!

I first joined WICT in 2007 and have served on a WICT Board of Directors since 2012. My engagement in WICT has helped me strengthen a variety of professional skills, specifically people management and leadership. I’ve been inspired to pursue new challenges and utilize my strengths to make a positive impact in the industry and community. — LaShaun Solomon, 2019 WICT Southeast President & Comcast – Xfinity Communities Sales

What I love the most about WICT is how it has given me exposure and access to opportunities that I may not have received otherwise, including professional development courses, webinars, and networking events. Within this international network, peers and colleagues have given me invaluable advice, much of which has allowed me to overcome numerous career obstacles. — Daphne Ternoir, Image Administrator, Discovery

SCTE was a great way for me to understand cable beyond my role in advertising. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to see all the pieces of our huge web of cable — from installation supplies to diversity recruitment efforts, SCTE had it all! I enjoyed the speakers, including those from Comcast! Thanks WICT for providing this great opportunity full of learning and networking. — Sequoyah A. Glenn, MBA, Advertising Research Analyst, 2, Comcast Spotlight

There are three things I love most about WICT: being inspired by the stories of other successful women; picking up professional development “tips and tricks” from the great programming; and meeting incredible women (and men) across the industry whose paths I’d likely never cross without WICT. — Marsha Maldonado, Business Improvement Executive Lead, Turner, & WICT Southeast Director, Partnerships

Now it’s your turn: What do you love about WICT? And check our blog postings from February 12th and 13th to see more great quotes!

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You can share the love at upcoming Taste of WICT events: Feb. 21 in Knoxville, TN, and Feb. 26 in Atlanta. Don’t miss out: Join or renew your WICT membership today!

 

What do you love about WICT? Part Two.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day! To celebrate in the spirit of the holiday, we asked some of our members to tell us what they love about WICT. Beginning yesterday, February 12th, through Valentine’s Day, we are sharing what a few of them had to say!

When you are involved in WICT to any degree, you are actively touching members’ lives. Whether helping to grow their leadership abilities via an event you volunteered for, widening their network of professionals, or even encouraging them to run for the board of directors, it is rewarding to know that you made a positive contribution to someone’s life and career. — Jamie Miller, Director, HGTV Program Planning, Discovery, Inc.

I love WICT because it allows me to be surrounded by inspiring and talented people in and around my industry. I’ve made fantastic connections and have learned something from every person I have met. — Kenya Brock, Director of Digital Operations and Marketing, Katz Networks (E.W. Scripps Co.)

My time with WICT is just getting started, but I love how it’s already pushed me out of my comfort zone and into board membership. I’m so lucky to serve with a great group of ladies and mentors in the Southeast! — Katie Farritor, RFD-TV Executive Producer & WICT Southeast Programming Director, Nashville

EVERY WICT event that I have attended has left me more inspired, motivated, encouraged, focused, informed, and empowered — overall better equipped for success. These words are sometimes overused, or only used because they sound good, but I mean them literally. All of these things take place within me when I sit and listen to highly successful women — ones I would normally never meet or be exposed to — speak openly about their successes, doubts, past fears, struggles, strategies, and solutions. It is invaluable to be around women who have done it well and don’t mind sharing how they did it and how they are currently doing it. — Elisa Wright, Pricing, Planning & Inventory Manager, Spectrum Reach

While I’ve always considered myself, by definition, a natural leader, it wasn’t until I became a student and steward of WICT principles that I learned how to be a true servant leader. I absolutely LOVE what we do!!! — Dana Dawson, Senior Project Manager, Cox Enterprises

Now it’s your turn: What do you love about WICT? Read yesterday’s post and check out tomorrow’s post for more great quotes!

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You can share the love at upcoming Taste of WICT events: Feb. 21 in Knoxville, TN, and Feb. 26 in Atlanta. Don’t miss out: Join or renew your WICT membership today!

 

What do you love about WICT? Part One.

Valentine’s Day is once again upon us. To celebrate in the spirit of the holiday, we asked some of our members to share what they love about WICT. Starting today, through Valentine’s Day, we’ll share what a few of them had to say!

I love the friendships I’ve made and the badass women I’ve met. — Kathy Oakes, Senior Manager of Business Process, Cox

Like Kathy Oakes, I have made a ton of great friends through WICT Southeast. They have provided great networking opportunities and career-building events. Honestly, this is probably one of the top professional organizations that I have ever joined. — Valerie Carrillo, Senior Writer/Producer, Brand Creative, HGTV/DIY Network/GAC, Discovery

I am a member of WICT because I can’t conceive of not being a member. WICT gives me a chance to meet and work with amazing women, generate ideas for continued growth of its members and community, and participate in meaningful events that can be the cornerstone of success and self-accomplishment in the workplace and personally. The telecommunications industry is ever-changing and WICT spreads awareness of these changes. It provides its members with holistic information to be forward-thinking, inspirational, and fearless. — Angela Manring, Corporate Marketing Specialist, Cox Business

WICT is transformational. The more you get involved, the more impact it has on your personal and professional growth. I am one of many people who can say that WICT changed my life, and I am grateful that our industry has such an amazing organization. — Sheri McGaughy, Principal, McGaughy Law

I love the opportunity to network and meet amazing women who have a passion for the cable and telecommunications industry. WICT is an inclusive association, allowing members to share their diverse backgrounds and experiences — helping each other grow in the process. I’ve been a WICT member for more than 25 years and on the board for more than 10. It’s been a joy to participate and to serve! – Kathy Hatala, SVP, National Accounts, Speakeasy

Now it’s your turn: What do you love about WICT? And check back tomorrow for more great quotes!

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You can share the love at upcoming Taste of WICT events: Feb. 21 in Knoxville, TN, and Feb. 26 in Atlanta. Don’t miss out: Join or renew your WICT membership today!

 

 

What are your goals for 2019?

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Contributed by Patricia Sanchez Lee

A new year brings the promise of a new you, the chance to reinvent yourself if you wish. Now that 2019 is upon us, it’s time to think beyond the usual routine of making new year’s resolutions and instead focus on new year’s goals. A resolution, like a promise, is easy to make and, as we all know, just as easy to break. A goal, on the other hand, is an objective, something to focus on achieving, attaining, and, if you’re lucky, surpassing. A goal motivates and drives you forward. A goal also offers the chance to inspire yourself — and maybe others, as well.

So what are your goals for 2019? Think about how you want to do better in your personal and professional life. What will make you happy and feel like you’re the best version of yourself you can be?

Perhaps you’re aiming to be healthier. Use that as inspiration to invite friends to join you for cooking classes, weekly walks, hikes, yoga sessions, or bike rides. Because getting healthier can be fun — and social. Maybe one of your goals is to be more creative. Let that inspire you to sign up for an art or writing class. Learning how to manage stress and relaxing could inspire you to start meditating. Maybe learning a new language will inspire you to travel so you can practice what you’ve learned. Or you can re-energize yourself, so you are once again the professional go-getter you set out to be. You might even be inspired to make a bigger change — it’s never too late to change a job or career and find that position that will fulfill you.

Once you start setting goals for yourself, you’ll find inspiration is all around you. Finding motivation to achieve goals you have for 2019 is a win-win situation, without the pressure of trying to maintain resolutions throughout the whole year. The more you meet your goals, however big or small, the more others will seem within reach. The more your friends, family, and colleagues see you meet your personal and professional goals, the more they’ll be inspired to set and reach their own. Inspiring others while inspiring yourself is a great way to spend 2019.

What goals have you set for yourself this year? Share with us below how you plan to find your inspiration in 2019.

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By day Patricia Sanchez Lee is a writer, editor, and photo curator for HGTV.com. By night (OK, mostly her free time) she is a photographer, aspiring novelist, and blogger. An often-accidental remodeler (hello, pinhole tub leak!), she maintains a laundry list of remodeling and organizational projects for her 1969 ranch house that she works on during her free time. Her house is full of her photography, her husband’s and daughter’s original artwork, her son’s toys, and built-in bookcases overflowing with books.

A Welcome Letter from the New Chapter President

LSolomon
LaShaun Solomon President WICT Southeast

This year, WICT celebrates 40 years of developing women leaders and advocating for gender diversity and inclusion. WICT currently serves over 10,500 members across the media and telecommunications industry and is the largest and most renowned organization representing women in cable. Now more than ever, businesses and leaders recognize the tremendous attributes women bring to work cultures, making groups like WICT more critical than ever. With the foundation of the WICT Touchstones of Leadership, 2019 represents the year to INSPIRE for the WICT Southeast Chapter.

I first joined WICT in 2007 and have served on a WICT Board of Directors since 2012. In 2015, I joined the Southeast Chapter Board as the Senior Director of Partnerships and over the two years I held this position, I received the WICT National June Travis Fellowship in 2016 to attend the WICT Leadership Conference and was awarded Chapter Leader of the Year in 2017. Last year, I started my 3-year commitment as an Executive Leader and I am truly honored to serve as the 2019 President of the WICT Southeast Chapter.

My involvement in WICT has inspired me to pursue new challenges and has provided me the opportunity to develop and grow my leadership skills, formulate a robust and diverse network, and expand my scope of the complex industry we work in. It is my personal goal to ensure your membership provides value, personal and professional growth, connection opportunities to leadership groups and access to events that matter. In this year to INSPIRE, WICT Southeast chapter members can look forward to:

Unique professional development opportunities specific to the Southeast Chapter

  • WICT Southeast 2019 “Inspire to Innovate” Fellowship powered by Cisco – WICT Southeast is pleased to offer a new scholarship that will award two members the opportunity to attend the Fall 2019 CableLabs Innovation Bootcamp – an immersive 3 ½ day learning experience that will transform the way you think about and practice innovation.

Collaborations with company Employee Resource Groups and other Associations

  • In partnership with TECHWomen of ComcastNBCUniversal, WICT Southeast members will have opportunities to attend inspirational breakfast forums that will help take their careers to new heights.

Volunteer opportunities

  • Community outreach efforts to provide career readiness skills to underserved groups.

WICT membership is open to both women and men. Please be sure to renew your membership to take advantage of what WICT Southeast has slated for 2019. If you are not a current member, now is the time to join . The WICT Southeast chapter exists to serve our members with FREE professional development programs and we can’t do it alone. To our 2018 sponsors: Comcast, Cisco, Turner, Wargo French, Cox, Arris, HBO, Spectrum Reach, Discovery, Up TV, aspire, World Wide Technology, The Weather Channel, Ridgeline Coaching, and the many companies that sponsored tables at our Red Letter Awards gala – THANK YOU! 2018 would not have been possible without your support and we look forward to partnerships in 2019.

On behalf of the WICT Southeast Board of Directors, thank you for joining us on this mission to create and INSPIRE women leaders!

LaShaun Solomon
President
WICT Southeast

CHAPTER PRESIDENT’S END OF YEAR MESSAGE


Our last chapter event of 2018 just wrapped up, so before things wind down for the holidays, and before the baton is officially passed to incoming 2019 Chapter President LaShaun Solomon, I wanted to take moment to thank you all for this amazing year.

I have been privileged to work with the Southeast board of directors, a team of 31 dedicated industry professionals who give their time and talents to help fulfill WICT’s mission. Working alongside the board is our army of passionate volunteers. You may have read a blog post one wrote, or been greeted by another when arriving at an event. And there’s the folks who help behind the scenes ordering the catering, booking a speaker, organizing a judging panel and many others who contributed to the success of this year’s 16 in-person or virtual leadership development programs, five membership events, mentoring programs for students and professionals, and a celebration of the 2018 Red Letter honorees.

I am grateful for our generous sponsors and corporate champions. Their financial support keeps our leadership training and mentoring programs free for members, and their executives provide us with inspiring panelists, mentors, and support for participation in WICT by our most valuable asset – nearly 1200 members who are the lifeblood of this organization.

Our chapter has seen its share of the disruption and transition occurring in our industry. For those who have been affected, I urge you to stay connected and involved with WICT. You are not alone. Now more than ever we need our professional network, and WICT Southeast member companies represent many different facets of this ever-evolving industry.

It has been an honor to serve as President of this chapter and it’s been a gift to meet and talk with so many of you as I’ve traveled throughout our region. While I joke that I’m moving into semi-retirement on the board, I hope to see you at an upcoming WICT Southeast event.

With much gratitude and appreciation,

Jamie Miller

2018 WICT Southeast President

WARM MEMORIES FROM 2018

Contributed by Michelle Gilstrap

Before I can truly enjoy the holiday season and think about how my sweater is going to be uglier than everyone else’s, I’ve got finish my self-review. It’s due next week. It should be so easy. Right? Wrong.

After I sit and stare at a blank Word document for a few minutes, I look at my work emails for inspiration. It seems like nothing pops up until an email about renewing my WICT membership presents itself. And then, it hit me! Eureka! I finally know what I’m going to write.

I started thinking about my involvement in organizations like WICT over the past year. Then, I started to think about all of the women who encouraged me to get more involved. At the beginning of the year, I was thrilled when I saw a few of the women from my 2017 WICT mentoring circle. Shelley Hoffmann was a part of my circle and is the current Senior Director of WICT Programming. She enjoyed her involvement with WICT, and it was infectious. I too wanted to help the organization thrive.

While volunteering, I’ve crossed paths with some amazing women and men. They have inspired me to follow their lead and assist WICT whenever I can. They inspired me to read powerful books like Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. I’ve also blogged and helped them plan the 2018 Red Letter Award Ceremony.

We can all celebrate the many accomplishments that we’ve made in our careers and organizations. But thinking about the people who lit that fire and the others that feel it’s warmth, made it celebration more meaningful to me. Sometimes when you are inspired, others will follow.

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Michelle Gilstrap works for CNN Tours at the world headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Her hobbies include traveling, video production, finding fashion trends and hanging out with her friends and family. She has been a member of WICT since 2016 when fellow Turner colleagues like Torrae Lawerence and Eunice Reger (past WICT SE Senior Director of Membership) encouraged her to join.

 

WICT Southeast announces 2019 Board of Directors

Women in Cable Telecommunications Southeast (WICT SE) Chapter announces the members of its 2019 Board of Directors.

The WICT SE Board represents the diverse functions of the cable industry and brings together members from 15 companies located in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. Each member has dynamic experience, distinctive perspectives, and backgrounds.

LaShaun Solomon (Comcast) incumbent Vice President rises to President in 2019. Renita Griskel (Discovery, Inc.) incumbent Director of Programming TN (Knoxville) transitions to Vice-President. Jamie Miller (Discovery, Inc.) incumbent President will move to Immediate Past President.

The complete list of all the incoming board members appears below.

The board also recently voted on the 2019 Touchstone, which is: INSPIRE and others will follow.

2019 WICT Southeast Board of Directors
POSITION NAME COMPANY
President LaShaun Solomon Comcast
Vice President Renita Griskel Discovery, Inc
Immediate Past President Jamie Miller Discovery, Inc
Chapter Adviser Sheri McGaughy McGaughy Law
Secretary Angela Manring Cox Communications
Sr. Treasurer Tendai Mashingaidze Aspire TV
Treasurer Stephanie Brown Comcast
Sr. Director of Marketing & Communications Valerie Carrillo Discovery, Inc
Director of Communications Elizabeth Rasberry Cox Communications
Director of Design Daphne Ternoir Discovery, Inc
Director of Social Media Marketing Kathy Oakes Cox Communications
Director of Digital Technology Valerie Ragsdale Cox Communications
Sr. Director of Membership Amanda Cisko Cox Communications
Director of Membership GA & AL Devon Croom Cox Communications
Director of Membership TN Sarah Miller Comcast
Director of Outreach Shakira Isom Comcast
Sr. Director of Programming Katie Duncan Discovery, Inc
Director of Programming AL Melissa Ralph Spectrum Reach
Director of Programming GA Dana Dawson Cox Enterprises
Director of Programming GA Jay Brown Arris
Director of Programming TN Leah Gould Discovery, Inc
Director of Programming TN Katie Farritor RFD-TV
Sr. Director of Mentoring Shelley Hoffmann Healthgrades
Director of Mentoring GA & AL Corrie Michals Comcast
Director of Mentoring TN Erika Weaver Discovery, Inc
Sr. Director of Partnerships Janine Bowling Arris
Director of Partnerships Marsha Maldonado Turner
Sr. Director of Red Letter Awards Ellen English Wargo French
Director of Red Letter Awards Gimette DeLaughter Cox Communications
Director at Large – Bylaws Jennifer Thompson Patrick Law Group
Director at Large – Partnership Janine Johnson Comcast
Director at Large – Executive Outreach Kathy Hatala Speakeasy, Inc
Director at Large – Chapter Expansion Kimberley Euston PwC

My #TimesUp Moment

Written by WICT blog volunteer, Kenya Brock

“If we don’t center the voices of marginalized people, we’re doing the wrong work.”
Tarana Burke
Founder of Just Be, Inc., civil rights activist, and originator of ‘MeToo’

When I was asked to write about a blog post leading up to the Moving from #MeToo to #TimesUp: Be a Catalyst for Positive Change WICT Southeast event, I literally had no clue what to write. I don’t have a #MeToo moment, but sadly I know many who do. But after reading the description, I realized the event is about both #MeToo and #TimesUp and that changed my mind about what to write.

When I was in high school, I had a summer job where I worked at a sporting goods store. I remember the boss telling me and another woman that we couldn’t work in the shoe section because women are better at selling clothes rather than athletic shoes. I was only 15 at the time and I remember being extremely annoyed, but I never said anything. I didn’t feel like I could speak up to my older, male boss for fear of being reprimanded or fired. So unfortunately, I kept my mouth shut and finished my summer job…never to return there or buy shoes from that store again.

Was that my #TimesUp moment?

The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have had all types of people doing a deep dive into their past. There’s a lot of digging up memories (some perhaps repressed and/or painful) and reflecting on situations inside and outside of the workplace. Was I harassed, abused or discriminated against? Was I a harasser, abuser, or a discriminator? This self-reflection isn’t easy, and it shouldn’t be. But it is absolutely necessary.

The stories from the victims that have come out of both movements are harrowing, frustrating, and scary. The fact that they’re able to tell their stories is downright courageous. The realization that shame, as well as fear from people in positions of power, is what kept these victims from speaking up makes my blood boil, but I can relate, because I’ve been there on more than one occasion.

As a woman and as a person of color, I am unfortunately used to being discriminated against. I have been spoken over in meetings, left out of important conversations, and blatantly ignored while being in the room. But through various ways, be it a mentor, effective leadership training, support from key people, etc., I’ve learned my voice counts and I matter. At the same time, I try to be a voice, sounding board, whatever is necessary, for those who’ve been through what I have been through. Having those conversations and recognizing you’re not alone is very important in the process of change and healing.

But here’s the thing, everyone’s situation and experience is different. Not everyone has someone they can easily talk to and get guidance from. My 15-year-old self kept that anger and fear inside but my older self may have reported my boss to HR had I properly known and understood the resources available. I’m glad to see all of the wonderful information on the #MeToo and #TimesUp websites as they are an excellent way for people experiencing various types of abuse and discrimination (within and outside of the workplace), to find support and resources. The key is to live in a world where these resources aren’t necessary, but until then they will exist.
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Want to learn more about what’s next for the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement in our industry? Join industry leaders in areas including HR diversity and inclusion, production executives, and more in a discussion about what better looks like at the Moving from #MeToo to #TimesUp: Be a Catalyst for Positive Change event. Click here to register and learn more.