Blog post from Toni Barnett – Oringally posted on linkedin

As someone who’s long been passionate about encouraging and developing the next generation of AV professionals, I was thrilled to learn about the Women in AV (WAVE) Mentoring Programme that was launched in July and even more thrilled to be able to share my knowledge and experience as a mentor on the programme.

There’s no denying that the AV world remains a male-dominated environment, simply take a look at the pages of our industry magazines or the showfloors and conference stages at our industry tradeshows and you’ll soon see that women are under-represented at all levels.

At WAVE we believe that the best way to change this is to support women working in the AV industry on both a collective and individual basis to help them achieve their career ambitions and to become role models for future generations of women. And this is where the WAVE Mentoring Programme comes in. The free programme welcomes women at different levels in their careers; they can even come from outside of the sector. There are no age limits and mentors can be male or female (mentees will be asked if they have a preference).

The programme will involve a mixture of one-on-one sessions with a mentor, group meet ups where each mentee will have the chance to present on their own part of the AV business or an area of interest to the rest of the group; mini-workshops on particular topics from industry specialists; and other industry networking events. Additional support will also be provided around key events such as job interviews.

The ultimate aims of the programme are to encourage more women to work in the AV sector, to give them the confidence to rise up the career ladder and to ensure we don’t lose these skilled professionals to other industries. Many reports and research into diversity within the workplace highlight that a more gender-balanced structure leads to additional ideas as well as greater creativity, business development and income generation, meaning it’s a win-win for all involved.

There’s currently a flurry of activity going on behind the scenes, and we’re looking for mentors and sponsors who can help to shape the future of the AV industry. We’ll also be making our first call for mentees next month. If you’re interested in getting involved in any way, drop me a line.


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