“Everything in our industry and our company is becoming digital. As the industry moves to digital delivery of our products—so is learning and development,” says Soehren, who is the 2018 Immediate Past Chair of WICT. The skilled corporate business leader and talent development guru has been integral in steering WICT in numerous positive ways. Those include record-level growth in memberships and corporate sponsorships, increased chapter development and engagement, as well as expanded and enhanced WICT STEM-oriented initiatives and programs. This past year, Martha oversaw the implementation of WICT’s new strategic plan, which will carry the organization forward for the next three to five years.
What’s a recent example of a step forward for women in the media industry?
Senior appointments like those of Dana Strong as president of consumer services and Noopur Davis as SVP and chief product and information security officer were significant steps forward for women in the media and tech space at Comcast NBCUniversal. While the tech sector is growing, progress for women in tech has been slower to come. Comcast NBCUniversal is doing a number of things to help change the trajectory—internally and externally. Through more sophisticated talent acquisition and talent management processes, we’re recruiting, developing, and promoting great female talent, like the ones named above. Employee Resource Groups, including the Comcast Women’s Network and TECHWomen, and professional development offerings, such as Mika Brzezinski’s Know Your Value program, are empowering women to enter and grow their careers in media and technology. Externally, programming like “The Chasing Grace Project,” a six-part docuseries about women in technology, is providing women with a platform to share their stories about this issue and their thoughts on how it can be addressed.
Who is an inspirational woman you admire, and why?
Someone who truly inspires me is Sister Mary Scullion, co-founder of Project H.O.M.E. in Philadelphia. She’s worked tirelessly to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty in our city—and she’s truly making a difference. Hers is an amazing story of the difference one woman can make. She’s smart, feisty, and undaunted.
What’s been the most dramatic change in your sector of the business today vs. three years ago?
Everything in our industry and our company is becoming digital. As the industry moves to digital delivery of our products—so is learning and development. We’ll always have some instructor-led training—safety comes to mind as a topic that requires in-person training – but the vast majority will be delivered virtually and digitally. And we’re well-positioned to do so, because we as an industry have the technology to do this like no other industry in the world.