By Corey Moss
You’ve heard it for quite some time now – women are underrepresented in tech. The AV industry itself has been a male-dominated one for a long time. CEDIA just elected its first woman Board member – congratulations to Heather Sidorowicz. A breakthrough? Absolutely. I know Heather, greatly respect her for her knowledge as well as the fact that she’s the owner of an integration business (Southtown Audio Video in New York).
Proof of qualification and achievement on a high level? For sure, however the story does still hit bumps in the road.
There was an incident that took place months back – a Google engineer with a very skewed axe to grind. I won’t get into it but to say this particular person had a considerable amount of time on his hands to spread this idiocy, and he was immediately fired from on high. Good. There are some who might disagree with my opinion on this, to each his own I say.
Danielle Brown, Google’s new (at the time) VP and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, People Operations had something to say about this, here is part of her statement:
Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate. We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul. As Ari Balogh said in his internal G+ post, “Building an open, inclusive environment is core to who we are, and the right thing to do. ‘Nuff said.”
Success as a company — and an industry. ‘Nuff said.
When it comes to representation, there are actually many highly qualified women in the industry doing big things each and every day. However, when you talk about underrepresentation in terms of high levels as well as the numbers – this is a symptom of the technology world on the whole, though there are those highly respected women who own manufacturing and integration businesses, and their companies thrive. I had a conversation with one of them whom I respect greatly at a trade show in 2017, and she told me that the opportunities for advancement are there. For me, she and others – like Heather – are proof. Cory Schaeffer and I talk often and for me, since the day I met her, I consider Cory one of the great leaders and trendsetters for women in the AV industry. And if you don’t know Cory on Twitter yet — you do now (and AVIXA’s Amanda Eberle Boyer):
And you see her great support for others in this tweet, which happens often.
It’s just plain wrong though to do anything that causes any kind of thinking otherwise – which is why the guy at Google was fired as he was without a second thought. That is the idiotic thinking, in line with others who think along those same lines. Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google is the one who fired the engineer, and while there were those who supported him, questioned him, and he even got some blowback, he did it. It was the right thing to do.
What’s to do for women who are in the AV industry? Why not start with the utmost in respect that many of these talented individuals deserve, and work from there. For the men I know who do support women in the industry, let’s do keep it up. For those men that still believe women are not qualified to do the work and achieve to high levels, their time is likely almost up anyway.
Oh yes, that podcast. Eleven amazing women – AVIXA Women – joined Katye McGregor Bennett (a high level achiever in the AV industry herself), Megan Powers (highly accomplished in the events space) and I – they are:
Cory Schaeffer – QSC, Brandy Alvarado – rp Visual Solutions, Jennifer Davis – Honeywell, Mary Cook – The Sextant Group, Christy Ricketts – Contemporary Research, Gina Sansivero – FSR, Alexis LaBrois – Avitecture, Christa Bender – Pivot Communications, Lauren Larson – Mood Media, Dayna Baumann – Control Concepts and Amanda Boyer – Sr Director of Member Services at AVIXA (and AVIXA Women’s Council Staff Liaison).
And ‘The AV Life’ itself has had its share of women in AV and tech Crew members – Katye, Megan, Alesia Hendley, Sandy Ciarlo and Taylor Meyer.
Listen in, applaud them and their efforts – which includes the volunteering that they do – along with the many other women in AV who just get the job done every single day.
Women in the AV industry – yes they do represent.
(Men can also get involved).
Note: If you would like to read the Google story, here it is.
With over 20 years in audio visual integration and IT/computer sales and consulting, Corey Moss is the owner of Convergent AV. Corey writes for the publication and hosts/produces podcasts – The AV Life, The Collaboration Factor and Convergent Tech Talk. He has written for numerous industry publications about AV, IT, unified communications and collaboration (UCC), cloud and software, IoT, cybersecurity and more. He has also conducted interviews with AV and IT executives and global influencers. Find him talking about a whole lot of things, tech and otherwise.