The Cable Industry Comes Together Virtually to Champion Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

diversity concept

Every year for the past several decades, the cable industry has held Diversity Week—a time for cable operators and TV networks to discuss and advocate for practices that further diversity and inclusion across the media and entertainment landscape. Although the pandemic has prevented another in-person gathering in New York City this fall, the industry continues its mission this week to engage in meaningful discussions around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging through virtual panels and conversations via the WICT and NAMIC conferences, and culminating with the Walter Kaitz Foundation's Virtual Gathering in place of the renowned Kaitz Dinner. 

The theme of this year's WICT Conference is "Together We Shine, Together We Thrive," with featured speakers including MSNBC President Rashida Jones and CNN Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour, and CEOs who will put forth best practices for advancing women to the highest levels of the business. NAMIC's conference theme is, "Removing Obstacles, Magnifying Opportunities," which is meant to encourage the start of conversations and actions that advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the industry. Industry experts and LGBTQ+ leaders will share the challenges they faced along their career journeys, and sessions on storytelling will focus on how creative leaders are pushing the diversity and inclusion agenda on TV, behind the scenes and on the screen. 

Then on Wednesday, the Walter Kaitz Foundation's Virtual Gathering will spotlight the Foundation's fundraising efforts and ongoing commitment to the programs and initiatives it sponsors to advance workforce diversity and inclusive storytelling. The theme of the gathering is, "The Renaissance of Identity: Be Seen, Be Heard, Belong," which speaks to the idea of change and giving a voice to those who have felt forms of discrimination and lacked opportunities due to race, ethnicity, LGBTQ+ identity, country of origin, or because they are differently abled. 

The two main goals of the Walter Kaitz Foundation's Virtual Gathering are to amplify awareness of the importance of continuing to champion diversity, inclusion, and belonging in the industry and to raise money to fund the programs and initiatives that allow for the opportunity to become a diverse industry. The funds raised from the event will go to the Foundation's robust grants program, as well as the industry's biennial diversity survey. The survey results allow leaders to evaluate how effective the industry has been in aligning hiring and advancement practices with diversity, inclusion, and belonging aspirations.

It's a packed week full of inspiring speeches and conversation, and the best part is that they serve as just the starting point for more discussions and new practices for championing diversity every day of the year.