Commercial Integrator June 2022 - 52

DIVERSITY Female Voices
them more inclusive and accessible.
" We provide webinars and training
programs, along with virtual roundtables, "
Joyce explains. " We also provide tools to
organizations and companies [so they can]
be more LGBTQ+ inclusive.... " This, she
says, includes helping people understand
the importance of people's pronouns and
offering tutorials on how to write inclusive
job descriptions.
When CI asks why it's paramount to
implement all these tools and strategies,
Joyce points to research from Harvard Business
School and McKinsey that shows how
recognizing DEI initiatives and emphasizing
belonging are key to increasing a company's
bottom line. " There's a clear correlation
between gender and ethnic diversity and
profitability, " she cites. " The 'Delivering
through Diversity' report from McKinsey in
20191
shows that companies in the top quartile
for gender diversity on executive teams
were 25% more likely to have above-average
profitability than peer companies in the
fourth quartile. And, for ethnic diversity, it
was 36% more profitable. "
In the last few years, the AV industry has certainly become much more active in initiating
and enacting DEI programs.
Steinhardt brings up how the pandemic
led to virtual networking opportunities that
otherwise wouldn't have existed. " When
Chris Neto did his #AVHappyHours, I got
the opportunity to interact with friends I
had made on Twitter, " she says. Comparing
these events to the sensory overload
she experiences in a bar, Steinhardt adds,
" Particularly for myself, with ADHD, autism
and sensory processing, I could turn off my
camera and still engage with people. These
kinds of engagements, in that environment,
were so unique. " Steinhardt also acknowledges
that, had the pandemic not happened,
meeting industry peers on that scale
would not have been possible.
Relating to online access as an avenue for
In the last few years, the AV industry
has certainly become much more active
in initiating and enacting DEI initiatives.
One question to consider is whether the
COVID-19 pandemic accelerated those
efforts. According to our interviewees, the
pandemic circumstances perhaps served to
level the playing field for many women and
people with disabilities.
52
Commercial Integrator JUNE 2022
diversity and inclusion, Joyce spotlights the
recent development whereby CTS exams
can be taken with online proctoring. " Now,
you don't have to go to a trade show
or testing center to take the exam, " she
enthuses. " It is fantastic for those countries
where testing locations aren't plenty. " With
online proctoring, Joyce says, international
AV professionals who contribute to the
global workforce can now earn their certifications
remotely.
Lloyd highlights another benefit of workplaces
adopting videoconferencing technologies
- namely, she believes that the
hybrid work environment increased meeting
equity. " [Things have] changed particularly
for us women who work from home, " she
says. " Each employee now has the same,
equal-size box on screen. [We] have now experienced
how to work with [different styles]
and learned how to accommodate and give
voice to each style. Each of us are equal note
takers, contributors and next-step takers. "
However, other, less positive workforce
developments also arose during the pandemic.
One concerning issue is the statistical
indication of women leaving the workforce
at a faster rate than men are2
. Lloyd reveals
that Black women, in particular, are actually
leaving in considerably higher percentages,
as a result of increased burnout and
microaggressions faced at work. To combat
this, Dunbar underlines the importance of
bringing male members of the workforce
into the conversation. She stresses that,
across industry councils, men must take a
stand alongside women. Men, Dunbar adds,
must listen and must seek to understand the
challenges that women and other under-represented
groups face. She remarks, " If you
don't bring men to bridge that gap, there is
no possible way to move forward. "
Small But Effective Strides
We're all familiar with the adage " Rome was
not built in a day. " The same goes for our
industry and its efforts to achieve DEI. Yet,
every small step counts, as each is a stride
toward the vision that these powerful women
have set forth.
For Steinhardt, one of those small steps
involved speaking publicly about her autism
diagnosis on Twitter. " As I started researchcommercialintegrator.com
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Commercial Integrator June 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Integrator June 2022

Commercial Integrator June 2022 - Cover1
Commercial Integrator June 2022 - Cover2
Commercial Integrator June 2022 - 1
Commercial Integrator June 2022 - 2
Commercial Integrator June 2022 - 3
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Commercial Integrator June 2022 - Special Section 1
Commercial Integrator June 2022 - Special Section 2
Commercial Integrator June 2022 - Special Section 3
Commercial Integrator June 2022 - Special Section 4
Commercial Integrator June 2022 - Special Section 5
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Commercial Integrator June 2022 - Special Section 9
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Commercial Integrator June 2022 - Special Section 11
Commercial Integrator June 2022 - Special Section 12
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Commercial Integrator June 2022 - Special Section 14
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