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Most Powerful Women
The 2009 Power List of Women in Cable

The origin of the phrase, "May you live in interesting times," remains a mystery. It might have been uttered first as a curse. Regardless, it seems apposite today.

WICT’s 30th anniversary year arrives with women on a political high. A woman was the Republicans’ VP choice. The Democrats nearly named a woman as their presidential candidate. Interesting.

Interesting and exciting describe the anticipation for WICT’s leadership conference keynote speaker, Olympic swimmer Dara Torres who, at 41 years young, demonstrates the success of a mature woman. With Torres and cable’s own Olympian, WICT Pres/CEO Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, owning 13 medals between them, including five golds, you could be excused for thinking this is WICT’s golden anniversary.

Jamming WICT, SCTE, NCTA, Kaitz, CableLabs, Cable Positive, NAMIC and CTAM events into seven days for the spring Cable Connection was certainly an interesting idea. As the interest on the country’s national debt rises and the economy falls, how many cable companies will have spent money to attend Cable Connection events? Also interesting will be the chatter about organizations like Cable in the Classroom and Cable Positive. What will they look like down the road?

So, with cable’s calendar being, yes, more interesting this year, we decided to augment our Cablefaxies Awards coverage with a tribute to women and WICT.

We begin our survey of some of the Leading Women in Cable with a look at men who mentor women. After that we discuss leadership issues and workplace trends with Food chief Brooke Johnson, jobs guru Ann Carlsen, Cox HR maven Mae Douglas and Hallmark distribution dynamo Janice Arouh.

Next is a profile of 15 Betsy Magness graduates, followed by profiles of 15 women in their thirties, in keeping with WICT’s 30th. The majority of these 30 highly accomplished women are rarely found in the pages of cable trade magazines. We’re glad we’ve changed that and we trust you’ll find them interesting.

Finally, we conclude with a roundtable on WICT’s history and future.

Seth Arenstein Editor

Men Who Mentor & Women Who Benefit

by Carolyn Carlson

Testosterone may be taking a large share of the blame for Wall Street’s mess, but in cable some women still seek advice from men on how to succeed. As a curveball in this women’s issue, we profile three male mentors who’ve helped women rise in the executive ranks. Ironically some of their advice sounds surprisingly, dare we say it, feminine. The bottom line — mentoring is all about relationships, listening and communication.

Leadership Training

by Daisy Whitney

Food chief Brooke Johnson, jobs guru Ann Carlsen, Cox HR maven Mae Douglas and Hallmark distribution dynamo Janice Arouh bat around office politics and workplace trends.

Don’t underestimate social networking, grasp the meaning of casual friday and be flexible in the current job environment. That’s some of the advice cable leaders will share during the annual WICT leadership conference, April 1-2, in Washington. Cablefax: The Magazine asked a quintet of conference speakers to preview their sessions.

Women on the Move

The Betsy Grads

by Catherine Applefeld Olson

When we turn 30 we are said to be approaching maturity.

That’s one way to see WICT on its 30th birthday. Yet at 30, people and WICT are relatively young. Accordingly, we profile 15 distinguished graduates of WICT’s Betsy Magness Leadership Institute. These women, older and younger, represent WICT at 30, leaders of today and promise for the future.

Since its inception in 1993, WICT’s Betsy Magness Leadership Institute, named for the TCI co-founder, has graduated more than 430 women. Armed with rigorous leadership training and an unwavering circle of support, Betsy women have put their mark on cable. Some of BMLI’s distinguished grads reflect on cable’s biggest challenges and why the industry still needs more women at the top.

Women in Their Thirties

by Catherine Applefeld Olson

There’s no better barometer of the future for women in cable than a look at its rising stars. To celebrate 30 years of WICT, we decided to profile women in their 30s. Some of them felt cable could do more to nurture women, most acknowledged challenges in the work-life balance and nearly all cited the emergence of multiple platforms as cable’s most exciting trend.

Leading Women by the Numbers

Talk about changing times. In 1965 roughly 1 in 4 mothers was a member of the U.S. workforce. By 2004 that number had nearly tripled, the U.S. Census Bureau says. Today, a record 68 million are employed in the U.S. Still, as the figures below indicate, women have a way to go—mothers or not.


  • 36.4%: Percentage of cable workforce that are women.*
  • 46%: Percentage of women in the U.S. labor force.+
  • 47%: Projected percentage of women in the labor force by 2016.+
  • 22%: The percentage of senior executives in cable who are women.*
  • 49%: The total labor force will grow between 2006 and 2016; women are estimated to be 49% of that increase.+
  • 82%: Percentage of 2008 U.S. layoffs that targeted men.*
  • 4.5%: The unemployment rate for U.S. women in 2007.+
  • 7.5%: The unemployment rate for black women in 2007.+
  • 80%: The estimated percentage of consumer spending decisions made by women. Yet women earn just 80 cents for every dollar that men earn, Labor estimates. The pay inequity that women have experienced for decades means that many households are struggling on 78 cents for every $1.78 previously earned by a working couple, WICT says.+ *
  • 56%: Participating companies in WICT’s PAR initiative that reported having a formal pay equity policy.*
  • 15.1%: Percentage of women in cable’s technology ranks.*
  • Sources: * WICT | + U.S. Department of Labor

30 Years of WICT and Beyond

Cablefax's Seth Arenstein leads a roundtable with some of cable's leaders, as they look back at WICT's past, and at its future.

We maintain our tradition of ending magazines with a roundtable. Naturally, we’ve decided to focus on WICT’s first 30 years and issues that it will face going forward. Our panel includes women who witnessed WICT at its start and those active in cable today. Cablefax’s Seth Arenstein questioned this distinguished group of Maggie Bellville, Partner, Carter – Baldwin Executive Search Services; Yvette Kanouff, Chief Strategy Officer, SeaChange International; Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, President/CEO, WICT; Abbe Raven, AETN President and CEO; and Gail Sermersheim, Founding President of WICT and a retired SVP at HBO.

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