SCTE, WICT Launch ‘Women’s TechConnect’ Initiative to Foster Developmental Opportunities for Women Engineers and Technologists
(Exton, PA and Chantilly, VA) — The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) and Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) today announced a new initiative that is designed to strengthen and cultivate the involvement in the cable industry by women engineers and technologists.
The initiative, dubbed “Women’s TechConnect,” is intended to support the career growth of women in technical positions by teaming a core group of promising engineers each year with recipients of the Women in Technology Award, presented annually by SCTE, WICT and Communications Technology magazine. Working on a one-on-one basis throughout the year, these “mentors” will share expertise and experiences that will increase professional development and networking opportunities for program participants.
“Even though cable has been extremely welcoming to women engineers, the number of women in technical positions is still a small percentage of the overall sector,” said Nomi Bergman, president of Bright House Networks and co-founder of the Women’s TechConnect program. “Women’s TechConnect is designed to expand that representation by leveraging the talents, leadership skills and relationships of women technology professionals who have had proven success in the industry.”
“The Women in Technology recipients universally feel a responsibility to address the gender gap that exists in cable engineering,” said Yvette Kanouff, president of SeaChange International and Women’s TechConnect co-founder. “We feel that by expanding the number of women in engineering positions, we can play a significant role in expanding the industry’s technical foundation.”
“WICT is proud to partner with SCTE and the Women in Technology honorees to support this important initiative,” said Maria E. Brennan, CAE, president & CEO of WICT. “These highly accomplished women are showing tremendous leadership by giving their time and talent to support and help cultivate the next generation of female technology professionals.”
“An important part of this initiative is the commitment that everyone involved shares in making our industry better,” said Cathy Oakes, senior vice president, operations for SCTE. “By combining our resources, our organizations and the Women in Technology winners are increasing the pool of talented engineers and technologists who can contribute to the future growth of our industry.”
A 2011 study by the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee indicated there were a variety of working conditions – including salary, advancement opportunity and travel – that deterred women from continuing engineering careers in general. At the same time, the study concluded that “women were more likely to be committed to the field of engineering if they received opportunities for training and development, opportunities for advancement, and believed that time demands were reasonable.”
The Women’s TechConnect program will allow less-tenured, though high-potential, women in technology fields at cable system operators, vendors and programmers, to apply with the support of their company. Following selection by a panel of mentors, honorees will be introduced at a reception in conjunction with the WICT Tech It Out event at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, be paired with mentors throughout Cable-Tec Expo, and receive a complimentary pass to the Expo exhibit floor. Honorees also will receive complimentary registration to the WICT Leadership Conference, in addition to membership in SCTE and WICT. They will continue to receive counsel, support and relationship-building resources from mentors during the following year.
Initial nominations for Women’s TechConnect will be accepted through September 9, 2011. More information on the program is available at http://www.wict.org/programs/techitout/Pages/WomensTechConnect.aspx or http://www.scte.org/resources/womens_tech_connect.aspx
For over 30 years, Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) has partnered with cable and telecommunications leaders to provide professional development programs, research and services that help advance women in cable media. With more than 8,100 members, WICT is the oldest and largest professional association serving women in the cable and telecommunications industry. Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., and AMC Networks/WE TV are WICT’s Strategic Touchstone Partners. Please visit www.wict.org or follow @WICT on Twitter for more information.
The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) is a non-profit professional association that provides technical leadership for the telecommunications industry and serves its members through professional development, standards, certification and information. SCTE currently has nearly 14,000 members from the U.S. and 70 countries worldwide and offers a variety of programs and services for the industry’s educational benefit. A prime example is SCTE’s Smart Energy Management Initiative (SEMI), an unprecedented effort to help cable operators leverage financial and environmental advantages of implementing Green strategies. SCTE has 68 chapters and meeting groups and more than 3,000 employees of the cable telecommunications industry hold SCTE technical certifications. SCTE is an ANSI-accredited standards development organization. Visit SCTE online at www.scte.org.
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