SoCal Women’s Group Picks HITS Fall

For its first-ever cross-industry event, the SoCal Women’s Leadership Group chose to co-locate with the HITS Fall conference Oct. 18 in Los Angeles, drawing more than 350 attendees.

Produced by the Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) and Women in Technology Hollywood (WiTH) groups, the afternoon SoCal Women’s Leadership Group event was free for attendees of the HITS Fall event, and featured several women’s entertainment coalitions, including Sony’s Women in Technology (WiT) and Women of Action Vision and Empowerment (WAVE), Warner’s Women of Warner (WOW), NBC Universal’s SoCal Women’s Network (WNN), Disney’s [email protected], the Women of Fox Sports group and Netflix’s Women in Technology group.

The opening keynote came from Amy Elaine Wakeland, First Lady of Los Angeles, who tackled the discourse of gender equity in business leadership, in the presentation “The Business Case for Women in Leadership.” Wakeland has been active in helping fund and launch the city’s Domestic Assault Response Teams (DART) program, L.A.’s first data-driven analysis of the sexual and domestic violence of women and girls in the city.

Following her keynote, entertainment industry executives took part in the panel “How Did You Get Where You Are Today?” looking at gender parity in leadership, and the lessons they’ve learned along the way.

Lizzy Paulson, Chair, SoCal Women’s Leadership Group; Jamia Bigalow, SVP of distribution marketing for Fox Networks Group; Janet Graham Borba, SVP of West Coast production for HBO; Kim Overall, EVP of consumer strategy for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment; Tracey Pakosta, EVP of comedy development for NBC Entertainment; and Cathleen Taff, SVP of integrated planning and franchise management for The Walt Disney Co. were on hand for the discussion.

To end the afternoon event, members of each participating women’s group hosted roundtable discussions tackling the topics discussed during the keynote and panel.

Produced by MESA in cooperation with the Hollywood IT Society, HITS: Fall is the largest gathering of the Hollywood IT community and its technology partners of the season.

This year’s annual event hosted over 350 attendees from across the Media & Entertainment industry including CEOs, CTOs and executives from major studios, distributors and top service providers. The event was sponsored by Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, GrayMeta, Teradata, Okta, Microsoft Azure, FilmTrack and Zaszou IT Consulting.