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Lifting Up the Next Generation of Women in Sports and Technology

Lifting Up the Next Generation of Women in Sports and Technology

Published 08-04-23

Submitted by Comcast Corporation

An adult crouched next to a child holding a box with Project Up on it.

Last week, Comcast, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises, and Women in Sports Tech (WiST) partnered to celebrate the beginning of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™, which started on July 20.

Together, a group of 50 students from various chapters of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia came to The Plaza at the Comcast Center to participate in a variety of soccer-related activities, like foosball and a soccer net that measures how fast you can kick a soccer ball, as well as a photobooth that contained a replica of the tournament’s trophy that will go to the winning team.

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Students from the Boys and Girls Club and panelists gathered at a Project UP event in the Comcast Technology Center.

Following the activities on The Plaza, the students headed over to Lift Labs, our entrepreneurial and innovations space inside the Comcast Technology Center. There, the students heard from a diverse group of female leaders who are breaking barriers for women in the sports and technology industries.

The “Discover Sports Tech Career Panel” was moderated by Christina Kolbjornsen, SVP, Corporate and External Affairs at Telemundo Enterprises and featured Emma Henzes, Manager, Marketing and Content at WiST; DJ Heat, the official in-game DJ for the Washington Wizards and Washington Mystics; Olivia Wang, Business Development at Perch; and Valeria Aponte Feliciano, Anchor and Reporter at Telemundo62 and NBC10.

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Boys and Girls Club of Philadelphia students are surprised with free laptops to support their digital skills education.

These talented women spoke about the challenges they all had to overcome while pursuing their careers and gave thoughtful advice on how to pursue jobs in the sports and media industries. They also emphasized how important it is to use the Internet and develop digital skills to help identify interesting and fulfilling careers. Following the panel, the students were surprised with their very own free Dell laptop as well as a soccer ball, and other Women’s World Cup goodies, before visiting our in-house, pop-up ice cream bar.

We are thrilled to partner with Comcast and WiST as we believe in supporting initiatives that can create and celebrate more opportunities for girls and women and inspire future generations.

CHRISTINA KOLBJORNSEN

SVP, Corporate & External Affairs at Telemundo Enterprises

“This partnership and our continued work in this space aims to combat the inequities in access and representation that exist among communities of color and gender across the U.S. We look forward to our continued partnership with Comcast and WiST in helping to expand our collective reach across this diverse and rich community,” said Christina Kolbjornsen, SVP, Corporate & External Affairs at Telemundo Enterprises.

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Boys and Girls Club students and employees kicking goals on The Plaza at the Comcast Center.

These events were all part of Comcast’s Project UP, our $1 billion commitment to advance digital equity through programs and community partnerships that help connect people to the internet, advance economic mobility, and open doors for the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, storytellers, and creators.

Women in Sports Tech (WiST), a not-for-profit organization that drives transformative growth opportunities for women in sports tech and innovation at all stages of their careers, also officially launched their video series: Discover Sports Tech: How to Go Pro. It was created to introduce more students and young professionals to the wide range of exciting careers in sports tech. The on-demand video series is also being distributed through Comcast’s Internet Essentials program and is accessible at Comcast Lift Zones across the country. Lift Zones are local community centers where the company has provided free WiFi for all to enjoy for school, work, and play.

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Boys and Girls Club students listening in on the Discover Sports Tech Career Panel in Lift Labs at the Comcast Technology Center.

KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM OUR PANELISTS:

“Because of technology, we can all be connected at once at such a high speed,” said Emma Henzes, Manager, Marketing & Content at WiST. “Our WiST Community is a global network of people in the sports tech industry that you can easily access through your laptop. The Internet opens you to opportunities all over the world so don’t let where you live limit your dreams.”

“The young woman next to you, that's your sister, she's your community and it's important to stay connected with her and uplift each other,” said Olivia Wang, Business Development at Perch. “Technology is constantly evolving and growing, and with the Internet, you can expand your network, research your curiosities and the companies you have interest in, and stay informed.”

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The “Discover Sports Tech Career Panel” was moderated by Christina Kolbjornsen, SVP, Corporate and External Affairs at Telemundo Enterprises and featured Emma Henzes, Manager, Marketing and Content at WiST; DJ Heat, the official in-game DJ for the Washington Wizards and Washington Mystics; Olivia Wang, Business Development at Perch; and Valeria Aponte Feliciano, Anchor and Reporter at Telemundo62 and NBC10.

“Not only do we want more women in the sports and technology fields, we need them,” said DJ Heat, the official in-game DJ for the Washington Wizards and Washington Mystics. “Keep shaking the table, keep breaking down barriers, and keep pushing the boundaries. Make your voices heard and make an impact in these spaces.”

“Our industry is changing every day with the advancements of technology. There are going to be obstacles, I had them, but you can’t let it stop you from achieving your dreams,” said Valeria Aponte Feliciano, Anchor and Reporter at Telemundo62 and NBC10. “It’s scary at first, but it gives you opportunities to broadcast and share stories in ways we haven’t before which is really exciting.”

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Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation's largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts.

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