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Whilst working in AV has been perceived in the past as ‘male orientated’, the movement of women in AV is proving to set an inspiring example for females who are driven to progress into the industry. With the hashtag #WomenInAV being constantly circulated on social media, it’s about time that the awareness has found the momentum it deserves.
Here at Visavvi, we continually work to address the gender balance within the company and are always proud when we can celebrate new positions and success.
Women in key roles from business management, sales, engineering and director roles - I’m incredibly proud of what all the women representing Visavvi have achieved so far."Ann Pickard, Group Service Director
The issues that women are faced with has been largely related to the fact that even now, engineering is thought of as a ‘job for men’. Visavvi Service Engineer Sue Carroll started her career in AV many years ago and commented on how she has certainly seen a positive progression in the industry. Due to the nature of the industry, technology has advanced dramatically with the ways that businesses integrate and use audio visual technologies to communicate on a global scale.
Sue said ‘’There have been a few occasions when I have turned up to work on a site and I am met with surprise that I am female.’’ Why might this be? In order to be a successful AV Service Engineer, having a certain level of fitness is essential, as working long hours on your feet to get the job delivered can be physically demanding. Installing kit that weighs 75kg and building scaffolding towers might not seem feasible for some – but many have proven to be more than capable of fulfilling that aspect of the role, and exceeding in it.
Ann Pickard, Visavvi Group Service Director and winner of Service Professional of the Year 2019, is a strong figure head leading the way for aspiring women in AV. Ann explained, "It’s empowering to see more diversity in the AV workplace and Sue and Jane’s story is a great example of how determination can lead to success in a high-stake role.’’
Ann, who started her AV career 26 years ago as a junior administrator, has achieved multiple major accomplishments for the company. From individually pricing 27,000 assets to win a £700k contract with a leading global IT Technology brand to securing lasting contracts with blue-chip companies.
So, let’s look at the statistics. Gender diversity in the AV industry is low, with approximately just 25% women working in technology. Despite this, there has been an encouraging shift in the UK that strives to place 1 million women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics by next year – championing females to begin a STEM career in these sectors.
All a promising start for the rising movement of women in AV, but how long to go before we are in a holistically diverse industry? Encouraging women to explore STEM careers or through initiatives like the Athena SWAN Charter designed to encourage more children from school to take up related subjects. If schools can demonstrate how these particular subjects can lead to so much more than the obvious options, more might feel inclined to try them. It’s an exciting prospect.
Ann Pickard commented, "Women in key roles from business management, sales, engineering and director roles - I’m incredibly proud of what all the women representing Visavvi have achieved so far. We would truly welcome anyone into our already diverse team.’’