Diversity Week Is Right Around the Corner

Walter Kaitz Foundation dinner

Once a year in September, organizations, business leaders and thousands of executives gather in New York City to not only recognize the programming and initiatives taking place to advance diversity in the internet and television industry, but to put their heads together and participate in serious discussions about effecting change in this area. This year is no different, and with Diversity Week just a couple of weeks away, we anxiously await the WICT Leadership and NAMIC conferences, and the 34th annual Walter Kaitz Foundation Dinner on September 27, where last year the industry raised nearly $1.7 million towards building diversity in the business.

As the most prestigious fundraising event in the industry, the Kaitz dinner is always a celebratory occasion where organizations are recognized for fostering diversity initiatives all year-round. This year, the Diversity Champion award goes to HBO for its commitment to incorporating diversity initiatives within its program production, marketplace, community and philanthropic programs, and professional development offerings. From mentorship programs and fellowships for emerging talent to campaigns that embrace different cultures and ethnicities in its promotion of the network's most popular shows, HBO truly stands out when it comes to representing the array of viewers across the country. The Diversity Advocate Award will also be given out during the Kaitz dinner. This year's award, which traditionally goes to an organization outside of the industry, goes to Girls Who Code, for the company's drive to teach one million school girls how to code by 2020.

Earlier in the week, executives and aspiring leaders across the industry will come together for the WICT Leadership Conference to honor women who are transforming their organizations, and to offer strategies for those looking to build their careers. Headlining the conference are award-winning journalist Katie Couric and acclaimed TV journalist Gretchen Carlson. The highlight of the WICT Leadership Conference is always the WICT Touchstones Luncheon, where the 2017 Woman of the Year honorees will be recognized. This year's honors go to D'Arcy Rudnay, EVP & Chief Communications Officer at Comcast, and Sarah Barnett, President & General Manager of BBC America.

Following WICT is the NAMIC Conference. Keynote speakers include Bob Bakish, President & CEO of Viacom, and John Qioñones, journalist and Host of ABC News "What Would You Do?" The results of the 2017 NAMIC AIM and WICT PAR employment survey will also be released, followed by a discussion of the key findings on how the industry fared in terms of diversity and best practices.   

We look forward to celebrating the efforts made across the industry to champion diversity, and to planning for an exciting future that embraces all of the cultures and perspectives that represent America.