Why balancing for better is, well, better
04 March 2019 | Community
Better the balance. Better the world. That’s the sentiment for this year’s International Women’s Day on Friday 8 March and we’re on board. The issue of gender balance isn’t one for women. It’s one for all. Especially for businesses. And in the business of events, it’s more important than ever. We sat down with some AV1ders from different fields to hear their thoughts on how having a balanced workplace at AV1 positively impacts our business, our people and our industry. Featuring: Melisa (crew), David (production), Toni (customer experience), Hayley (account management), Theo (crew), Emma (operations) and Todd (finance).
How does having a balanced workplace at AV1 positively impact you in your role, your team and the business overall?Hayley > It feels inclusive. The team isn’t dominated by one gender, so everyone has access to the same opportunities. We can all achieve big things, no matter our gender. Melisa > For me, as a female tech, having a more balanced workplace makes for a nicer working environment. I feel comfortable here. David > In the AV industry, there can be a bit of a ‘boys club’ sometimes. AV1 has a more balanced workplace than some other companies I’ve worked for. And it creates a more upbeat environment. Promotes a healthy culture. Aside from all the benefits – it also represents real life. Women make up 50% of the population. That should be represented at work too. Emma > Working here – your voice gets heard. AV has always been a male-dominated industry. And for women it can be intimidating working in a team of all men. I’d often find myself adjusting my behaviour to suit that environment. But here I don’t find that. I love being able to work really closely with the guys and girls in my team. We all share respect for each other.
In what ways do you think a having a gender-balanced workplace positively impacts on our clients and their events?Toni > A balanced workplace gives a really nice harmony for the staff but also for our clients. As a team, we’re able to offer different viewpoints, bring new ideas. It’s also more reflective of our customer base. So we can better tap into our clients’ expectations and frustrations. Todd > Men and women often come at things from different angles. They bring different skills, different approaches to the table. That applies in my arena (finance) and other areas too. Often, their skills will offset one another. And that’s important. It’s about just that – balance. Theo > Having women in the team definitely ups the overall standards and skill levels. That’s great for the industry and has a flow-on effect for our clients. More variety means more creativity. Melisa > If you just hang out with people who are the same as you, you’ll begin to lack diversity in your thinking. We’d rather remain progressive for the benefit of everyone we work with.
What do you want to see in the next five years for gender balance in our industry?Toni > I want young girls to see AV as a career potential. That’s a big part of the work we’re doing with Women in AV. If girls see women in all sorts of roles and jobs, that’ll open up opportunities for them. I also want to see greater flexibility and a more positive mindset towards working mums in our industry. If we can harness flexibility within all roles, especially traditionally male roles, then not only will we achieve greater balance, but a better community too. David > Technology changes so fast. Who knows what’s around the corner. With the industry never at a standstill, it’s constantly creating new entry points for the younger generation. That means more avenues for women into tech. Hayley > That’s it. This is the perfect industry for it to happen. Being quite new to it myself, I can see a real progression happening across the board. There’s a force for change in the tech space and now’s the time to set goals and tip the scales for a more balanced future. Emma > I want to see more female operators, especially more senior operators, working at AV1. We’ve had some impact in recent years in opening up doors for junior operators, but in a year from now, I’d love to see these young female techs in more senior roles. That’s a focus for my team this year with training. Todd > I’d like to see further improvement within our own team in terms of having more female staff in permanent roles. Particularly in our production and media teams. We need to look at how we improve our language in job advertisements for traditionally male roles to appeal to women and encourage women to take a chance.
Women in AV Australia was established in March 2018 with a mission to empower and unite female audio visual professionals. Through positive and powerful messaging, it aims to increase the number of women working in the industry, reduce the gender gap and address the skills shortage in AV. The group is run by volunteers from AV1, AV 24/7, AVPartners, Encore Event Technologies, International Convention Centre Sydney and Scene Change Australia.