WICT Southeast Celebrates 40 Years!
Reflections from our history…40 years in the making
Throughout the year we will be highlighting quotes, stories and more from former WICT Southeast leaders and members.
DID YOU KNOW…
REFLECTIONS OVER 40 YEARS
- The Southeast Chapter, formerly known as the Atlanta Chapter, played a key role in shaping the careers of women in the cable & telecommunications industry all over the world.
- The Atlanta Chapter was 1 of 3 original or inaugural chapters of Women in Cable.
- In the 1970’s, only 20% of the nation’s households with TVs were cable subscribers.
- Out of the then 4,000 cable systems across the country, women’s representation at industry shows and the like was less than 20 members total.
- One of those women, Gail Sermersheim, who later became the Founding President of Women in Cable & Telecommunications, was present and accounted for. (Cablevision, 1989)
From the Boardroom to the Ballroom:
Gail Sermersheim, WICT Founding President
As a WICT co-founder, first WICT President, co-founder of CTAM, 2002 Cable Hall of Famer, NCTA Vanguard Award winner, and WICT Southeast Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Gail Sermersheim is no stranger to both challenge and triumph. A trailblazer with many firsts, Sermersheim’s perseverance, authenticity and passion for results were keys to her success both in and out of the boardroom.
To read more about Sermersheim’s amazing
Jill Slavin, National President & Former WICT SE Board Member (1980-1996), on change in the workplace:
I am 79 years old, a member of the Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem generation and I find it very discouraging to find that, 1) Younger women have no idea of what has been done for them and 2) Sexism is still alive and well. In the cable industry, the glass ceiling was shattered a long time ago – Geraldine Laybourne was founder and president of Nickelodeon and several other women headed up large networks and cable channels.
When I was national president in the early nineties, the challenge was for women to obtain board seats. I also find it discouraging to hear “I’m no feminist, but…”. If men and women do not pick up the feminist banner, it’s not going to happen. If women still allow men to think they are “helping” with the housework it’s not going to happen. If women drop out of the workforce for years to have children, it’s not going to happen. It’s not easy to “have it all” but if you want it it’s doable.
#metoo and #timesup on the other hand give me hope. It’s real and it needs to be fixed and I salute the brave women who are carrying the banner. I have been happily married for 58 years and traveled extensively on business for my entire career. I was never assaulted but I was approached and demeaned many times in many ways. I swallowed hard and moved on. I wish I had been braver.”
To learn more about this WICT SE trailblazer visit: https://www.cablecenter.org/programs/the-hauser-oral-history-project/s-listings/jill-slavin.html
Congratulations to the WICT Southeast Chapter on 40 years of creating women leaders. As one of the oldest & largest chapters in the WICT network, I’m in awe of all the Southeast Chapter offers to our local members. Thank you for being a shining example of success to the entire WICT community!
Maria E. Brennan, CAE
President & CEO
Women in Cable Telecommunications