WiCT 2020 Honorees Continue the Fight for Diversity in Tech

WiCT 2020 honorees and volunteers raise a glass to women in tech at CES 2020.
(Image credit: Future/JohnStaleyPhoto.com)

They say a woman’s work is never done, and that sentiment rings especially true in the tech industry and at the 11th annual Women in Consumer Technology (WiCT) Legacy Awards Reception, sponsored by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

Over 175 CES attendees gathered at the Venetian on Tuesday night to celebrate the achievements of women in the CT industry. Carol Campbell, the group’s founder kicked off the event: “In 2020, we start our second decade of existence. We’re pretty excited about all we’ve accomplished so far. There is one thing that I’ve said from the get-go and that is that our job [to have an equal representation of women in the industry] will never be completed in my lifetime. So, it’s important for all of you to build a community, raise each other up, and lead the way.”

Campbell then welcomed Jennifer Taylor, vice president, industry affairs, CTA, to the stage. “At CTA, our CEO Gary Shapiro reminds us all the time that diversity of thought, experience, background, skills, and ideas are the bedrock of innovation,” Taylor said. “We believe that for innovation to reach its full potential, it requires different voices and perspectives to have the opportunity to come together—including women, people of color, older adults, and people with disabilities.”

Taylor then turned the stage over to Bridget Karlin of IBM, who was a 2019 Legacy Award recipient, to introduce the 2020 WiCT award winners. This year’s 2020 Legacy Award honorees included: Laura McNew, Petra Industries; Petro Shimonishi, URC; Cindy Stevens, CTA; and Christa Wittenberg, Facebook. The 2020 Woman to Watch award was presented to Danielle Karr at Control4.

The night’s largest honor, the Carol Campbell Inspiration Award, was given to Megan Pollock of Samsung Electronics America. “What we see tonight is really the power of what so many of us have said for so long—the importance of having role models that look like you, that support you, that believe in you,” she said in her acceptance speech.

“Like all of you, I love this industry, but I know that for us to reach our full potential, we’ve got to have a seat at the table for everyone—for the diverse population that this industry represents,” Pollock continued. “And as I look to the next decade, I'm really excited about working with each and every one of you as we build this pipeline, because that’s what’s most important to continue to better the industry and to support the industry. I’m really excited about the work that we have to do, and we’ve got nowhere to go but up.”

For more CES 2020 news and stories, visit twice.com/tag/ces-2020.

Megan A. Dutta

Megan A. Dutta is a pro AV industry journalist, and the former content director for Systems Contractor News (SCN) and Digital Signage Magazine, both Future U.S. publications. Dutta previously served as the marketing communications manager at Peerless-AV, where she led the company’s marketing and communications department. Dutta is the recipient of AVIXA's 2017 Young AV Professional Award and Women in Consumer Technology's 2018 Woman to Watch Award. Dutta is co-founder of Women of Digital Signage, an organization designed to provide a pathway to promote networking, mentoring, and personal growth.