Women in the AV market
International Women’s Day is being celebrated around the world today with this year’s theme being Balance for Better.
Women pursuing careers in tech industries are on the rise, however they are still considered as ‘male-dominated’ industries. Companies such as Women in AV (WAVE) are taking action to encourage women to enter a ‘male-dominated’ career and offering support to help them succeed.
Interestingly, only 14 per cent of visitors to this year's ISE were female. The percentage is rising as just a few years ago, the figure was only nine per cent. Although this is increasing, I was still shocked at how low the percentage is.
Abigail Brown, who is the managing director of Openingz.com and takes a leading role within WAVE said: “It’s very important to all of us that we attract women to this industry. It’s currently very male driven and often we see photos of round table discussions that are predominantly, if not all, male.
“I’d like to think there has been an increase of women joining our industry. The clients we deal with are focused on hiring the best individual for the job regardless of whether they are male or female.”
This year, WAVE have started a mentoring scheme for women in the AV industry. The programme will see experienced leaders from the industry guide 19 women at varying levels of seniority, offering their expertise, knowledge and support.
The programme runs for six months and involves three main activities: a monthly session with a mentor; a monthly meet up with fellow mentees where they present on their part of the AV sector; and additional networking events and workshops with guest speakers.
As well as the mentoring programme, WAVE hold a number of other events for women in the AV industry. Abigail Brown continued: “There are several industry events held throughout the year where we encourage women to attend, but after taking a survey, it was evident that they prefer a stand-alone event rather than combining with an industry.
“In terms of style of events, some are purely social with introductions and a chance to catch up with industry colleagues, but we mostly work hard to get guest speakers and invite people to run Q&A panels, etc. These events also have sponsors and are well supported.
“Ultimately our goal is for our ladies to make good connections and nurture those relationships, share information about what they do and find out any areas where they need help. The Mentoring programme is still in progress, but feedback so far has been very positive.”
The world is changing and women and young girls are able to follow any career they want. If education is continued in the right way in schools, there is no doubt that more young girls will want to have a career in a tech industry and they won’t be so ‘male-dominated’ in the future.