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Women in Comms -- About Us

Our Mission
There is a well-documented gender imbalance in the communications industry, stemming from our industry's traditional recruiting processes, company culture and unconscious biases that often have their roots in the boardroom. Light Reading's Women in Comms (WiC) initiative was started in 2014 with a simple mission: redress the gender imbalance in the next-gen communications industry.

Through a series of networking breakfast events and online at our dedicated WiC site, we've tackled everything from how the evolution in technology is affecting women; to the realities of being female in the STEM industry; to how to attract more women into the communications sector; to crafting a company culture that empowers, respects and promotes women.

To take things to the next level, Women in Comms joined forces with nearly 40 (and growing!) communications service providers, vendors and industry associations across the globe in January 2016.

Along the journey to gender equality in comms, WiC will serve as the "water cooler" for women, both online and through live events. We educate women through news, analysis and interviews on subjects of interest to women in the industry; advise women through mentorships and access to top females in the industry; help individuals build rewarding career paths; and connect companies with qualified female candidates in the comms field.

We plan to help bolster the pool of qualified female candidates in the comms industry, empower women currently in the industry and, ultimately, create a work environment that's better and more equitable for women.

Serving Three Primary Functions:

Light Reading's dedicated Women in Comms website keeps our mission alive in the digital world year-round. The site features exclusive content on women in the industry and the issues they face, radio shows, "Mentor Monday" Q&As, advice, a live events calendar, a discussion board to create an ongoing dialogue and much more.

Videos are also a large component of the WiC site, highlighting top female executives from across the industry through recorded interviews with women from around the globe, video blogs chronicling news and analysis of the industry and more.

Women in Comms hosts regular networking breakfast events around the world, culminating with our biggest event of the year, the Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, coming up in May. Past Women in Comms breakfasts have consistently drawn crowds of 50 to 100 female executives, the majority of whom are senior level and from service providers. The mornings include breakfast, a keynote speaker, a service provider panel and plenty of time for networking.

Feedback from past breakfast events:

"It was a great morning. I especially enjoyed the panel and how they tackled real issues like the "sticky floor/glass ceiling" instead of just acknowledging that it exists. None of the panelists were held back by it, and it was inspiring to hear their stories." — Meredith, Pandora

"This was a great opportunity to network. I came away with an important new business connection, as well as ideas on how to advance my career and help other women do the same." — Jenny, Vibes Media

"I've been to other women's events before, but none with the degree of great content that this one had. It was inspiring, encouraging and informative. The speaker line up was really impressive, and I especially enjoyed the opening remarks from Chicago CIO Brenna Berman." — Katie, IBM

WiC connects women who are navigating their careers in the comms industry with professionals in leadership positions via live events, advice columns and online chats. WiC will open the lines of communication to senior level executives at in-person events and online via our online community, incorporating social media amplification.

Join WiC today and help us redress the gender imbalance! For more information, please contact:

Sarah Thomas
Women in Comms

Join us and make a REAL difference for Women in Comms!

Women in Comms Audio
Archived Audio
Twitter Feed
Women's Watercooler
Discussion Boards
May 9, 2017 11:13:04 AM
UN Women HeForShe
April 27, 2017 1:54:38 PM
Do you know women in tech?
Sarah Thomas
March 5, 2017 12:08:01 PM
Swedish Mansplaining
March 3, 2017 3:24:50 PM
Women's History Month
Sarah Thomas
February 24, 2017 12:15:59 PM
The career-break penalty
Sarah Thomas
February 17, 2017 10:25:33 AM
Risk taking differences
Sarah Thomas
February 17, 2017 9:51:21 AM
Upcoming WiC Events!
Sarah Thomas
January 11, 2017 12:47:08 PM
Chatbots: a big opp for women?
Sarah Thomas
Contribute Here
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
All Upcoming Live Events
Women in Comms Poll
WiC wants to hear your stories, experiences and impressions of the comms industry.

Take our short survey here!
AppDynamics highlights the tech segments where women are the most prevalent and showcases a few making a big difference in their field.
Women in Comms Video
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment

Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Verizon VP Talks Network, Career Planning

7|12|17   |   4:49   |   (0) comments

Heidi Hemmer, vice president of Technology, Strategy & Planning at Verizon, shares how bold bets and the future of tech define her career.
LRTV Interviews
Global Capacity: Bandwidth Demand Driving Ethernet Growth

7|6|17   |   6:37   |   (0) comments

At Light Reading's Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, Global Capacity's VP of Marketing Mary Stanhope talks about how the demand for bandwidth is changing the way service providers deliver broadband services.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
BT VP: Women Should Fill Security Talent Gap

7|5|17   |   6:00   |   (2) comments

By 2020 there will be six security jobs for every qualified worker, and Kate Kuehn, vice president of Security for BT in the Americas, says BT wants to encourage women to fill the shortage in jobs.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Intel Ushers in the Revolutionary 5G Era

6|28|17   |   5:00   |   (1) comment

5G will bring job opportunities for women in telco and IT, as well as a whole new era of communications for consumers and industries of all kinds, says Caroline Chan, vice president and general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division at Intel.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera's Sales Director Paints Tech's Big Picture

6|21|17   |   4:14   |   (1) comment

Shannon Williams, Infinera's director of sales, shares how she achieves work's many balancing acts -- between her role and the broader company, today and tomorrow's tech and more.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Parallel Wireless Founder Takes the Non-Traditional Path

6|14|17   |   3:34   |   (2) comments

And that's made all the difference for Kaitki Agarwal, who shares her story and advice, as well as her perspective on wireless network evolutions with WiC in Austin.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena Takes a Broad View of Diversity

6|7|17   |   4:36   |   (1) comment

Building the best team at Ciena and opening up new market opportunities means incorporating diversity of all kinds, according to its director of business development, Emmanuelle Cahane.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Boingo CMO: Why We Need More Female Leaders

5|31|17   |   6:32   |   (1) comment

Companies make more money when there are women in leadership, Boingo CMO Dawn Callahan says. She shares why there can never be too many women in leadership roles in the tech industry and how to increase today's numbers.
LRTV Documentaries
Yvette Kanouff Shares Cisco's Automation Equation

5|31|17   |     |   (1) comment

Yvette Kanouff, senior vice president and general manager of the service provider business at Cisco, tells BCE attendees how the vendor is helping operators and enterprises automate their networks to be simpler, faster, scalable and self-healing.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2017: Intel's Take on Network Transformation

5|24|17   |     |   (0) comments

In this BCE 2017 keynote, Lynn Comp discusses Intel's vision for areas such as analytics, automation and service assurance. For more videos and BCE coverage, see http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
How Diversity Helps Comcast Mirror Its Customer Base

4|26|17   |   2:55   |   (0) comments

Diversity brings innovation, creative ideas and a way to reflect the broad spectrum of your customer base, Comcast Director of Customer Experience Jenelle Champlin says.