Our Membership Spotlight features members sharing their experiences in the WICT organization. Each month, a different member will be spotlighted and showcased in our blog.
This month, we’re thrilled to spotlight Michael Wiggins, WICT Southeast Director at Large – Partnerships, Cox Communications.
- What propelled you to join WICT Southeast?
On January 4th of this year, my lovely wife Katy and I welcomed a beautiful daughter (Rylie) into the world. It was at that moment that it all started to “click” for me, and I realized that the time for me to get more deeply involved was now. I have always held myself to a high standard when it comes to Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity – but it hasn’t been until recently in my career that I recognize the obligation I have to be a catalyst and elevate my commitment. You may have heard the phrase “Diversity is a Fact; Inclusion is an Act”, and that sums it up nicely for me personally. WICT is one of the ways I’m taking action on the initiatives that matter most to me and helping build a better future for the next generation.
- At WICT both women & men are encouraged to be a catalyst and set the wheels of change in motion. In your experience, share your thoughts on some key benefits of being a member of WICT and why individuals should join or consider renewing their membership?
As a man, I was initially reluctant to take the leap of faith with WICT – because I had made a poor assumption that it was a professional society exclusively for women. However, what I realize now is that men play an incredibly important role as allies and activists to help drive the progress we so desperately need. I have found that the clarity of WICT’s mission, the access to resources and information to help myself and my team’s development, and the ability to network with brilliantly talented people all across the Southeast and beyond is something that is helping me grow and be a better leader each and every day.
- How has WICT Southeast played an important role in your professional/personal life?
The opportunity to participate in incredible programming events, support chapter expansion, and curate existing and new partnerships is something that has helped me develop in ways I’m only beginning to understand. Getting out of my comfort zone and supporting a cause that most outsiders wouldn’t typically associate me with has helped me grow as I recognize that I am an important piece of the inclusion and equity puzzle in both my professional and personal life. Additionally, the ability to leverage my role in partnerships to help extend our partnerships into adjacent industries and new companies is something that is helping me build stronger connections across a wider array of organizations.
- Over the past year the world has faced major challenges. What is one piece of practical advice you have gained from WICT Southeast events that can benefit others?
In May, I had the absolute pleasure to listen to and learn from a few amazing women of Asian heritage in the Beyond the Hashtag Series panel presented by Cox Communications. Sujata Gosalia (Chief Strategy Officer at Cox) made reference to the fact that it isn’t just “charm and brilliance” that will help you develop and advance in your career. It’s about finding something you’re passionate about and channeling that energy to consistently deliver your best work on the things that you value most. That’s why I’m incredibly excited to keep being a catalyst to set the wheels of change in motion with WICT Southeast and beyond – not only for my new baby daughter Rylie – but for all women and others who struggle with inequity in the workplace and in communities across the world.