SHINE THEORY, SHOES, AND A NEW EUROPEAN CHAPTER FOR WOMEN IN CABLE TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Too often when I talk about WICT my female colleagues look uncomfortable. They’re not against advocating for women, not as such, but they are reticent about associating with a women’s movement because (apologetic cringe) “I’m not into all that feminism!”

Apparently, I grossly overestimated the reach and influence of the third wave of feminists such as the British journalist, author and broadcaster, Caitlin Moran or the American podcaster, Ann Friedman. But even if you managed to miss Moran’s thought-provoking and hilarious How To Be A Woman (you surely can’t avoid the film later this year) it still surprises me to learn so many of my female peers still believe that studying and working hard is the only way to earn their place at the table, and that a ‘feminist’ reputation is potential career suicide.

@caitlinmoran, on how to be a woman (summed up in one tweet):
I guess it would be “Different but equal to men, and with more shoes.”

Whatever your views on this point (and my collection of impractical shoes), it’s immediately evident that the ladies (and gents) of WICT aren’t foaming at the mouth or tearing at their hair. Our bras are firmly in place. WICT is a powerful B2B network helping advance women in the cable industry. A catalyst for industry change through research, development, advocacy and educational programmes.

This year, our 40th anniversary, and the launch of a new chapter for Europe, our call to action is Women shine. Now. More than ever.

Shine Theory is a simple idea coined by podcaster Ann Friedman: “I don’t shine if you don’t shine” (now immortalized, for better or worse, by The Killers in Read My Mind).

“True confidence is infectious.” – Ann Friedman.

The premise is that it’s far better to support your female colleagues than compete for recognition, praise and career advancement. In our especially male dominated industry it can feel intimidating to share ideas and find your voice, so instead of a race to the bottom, you can ask the support of those around you to build confidence and friendships. And you can be on a team that helps you feel comfortable approaching accomplished colleagues who in turn help and inspire you to shine.

Why now. More than ever?

It’s by now irrefutable that gender balance on boards encourages better leadership and governance, but while most business leaders know a diverse and inclusive culture is critical to performance, they don’t always know how to achieve that goal.

Liberty Global is supporting the launch of Women in Cable & Telecommunications Europe to to help our industry level up. So to my female colleagues and all friends of diversity I say, you don’t have to go it alone. Come in your craziest, cutest or comfiest shoes, and shine with WICT Europe.

Karen Bamford

Karen is Senior Manager Marketing Communications and WICT Europe Marketing & Digital Comms Co-Chair
Karen Bamford

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