Commercial Integrator March 2022 - 23

COVER STORY
a testament to all their achievements, "
she exclaims.
Given that the AV industry is a largely
unknown as a career opportunity and
most professionals entered the fi eld " accidentally, "
Sansivero stresses the importance
of informing students - especially
young females - of potential career paths
in commercial AV. " I have been an ambassador
for a program where we go out and
talk about the AV industry in high schools,
tech schools and universities, " she proclaims.
" I've also presented at business
classes on the various opportunities in
AV using projects like live productions
and museums to get the students excited
about it. " Hendley, too, engages in " active
participation. " She has gone out in the fi eld
and actively sought to recruit women.
In many commercial AV businesses and
for most higher-level positions, the lack
of a college degree can be a barrier to
entry. Sometimes, a degree can certainly
outweigh years of experience. Although
Hendley acknowledges the value of higher
education, she points out the negative effects
that these policies can have on those
who are technically qualifi ed but without
a degree. This concern is especially acute
for women of color. " These are the barriers
that happen even before the foot is in the
door, " Hendley asserts.
" Instead of just talking in circles, I would
like to see actual funding and action-bearing
initiatives that provide opportunities, "
Hendley adds. Thus, she mentors women
outsourcing model, Torruella states dryly
that nearly all companies have business
in other countries. Why, then, is there
not more eff ort to hire people who have
multicultural backgrounds? She adds,
" Some major reasons for labor shortages
are the lack of immigration and [the lack
of] diversity in recruitment. [Senior-level]
AV workers retiring or passing away also
contribute to this. "
Torruella remarks that AV doesn't do a
good enough job speaking up for itself.
" It needs to have courage like we women
do and put itself out there, " Torruella says
of our industry. " AV is evolving because of
people like us. And I hope that companies
will continue to improve on their diversity
programs and initiatives. "
Charmaine Torruella (leſt ), pictured with
Latoya Lewis, helped propel the AVIXA
Diversity Council.
looking to establish themselves in the
integration industry. " I'm always pushing
for women getting more involved, " she
continues. " All I'm really doing is building
relationships with these women and
helping them navigate through a rather
underserved market. "
There is also immense untapped talent
outside the U.S., a large percentage of
whom are women. International workers
bring with them a global perspective that
can propel businesses forward. Businesses
that fail to capitalize on that tend
to languish in stagnancy. Pointing to the
A Sense of Solidarity
Throughout these conversations, one common
factor that arose - and tied together
the various experiences shared - centered
on the relationships that these powerful AV
women developed along their journeys.
Each woman highlighted the importance
of their relationships with other women
and fellow professionals. Ultimately, that is
what fosters a sense of solidarity. As women
learn from and understand each other,
they continue to grow - both professionally
and personally.
On the topic of solidarity, Torruella and
Alvarado-Miranda agree on having more
women-oriented shows. Torruella says,
" The key is getting women together.
And, while AVIXA's Women Council does
a really good job, what I would really
love to see is a tech event dedicated
entirely to women. " She adds, " We need
to talk more with each other and work
with each other. With that, we can really
achieve a lot more. "
The road ahead to create a truly inclusive
industry is a long one. Yet, Sansivero
feels quite hopeful about the trajectory.
" We've come a long way from 20 women
at a table to nearly 400 women, " she
remarks. " What's more important, in
order to sustain that growth, is that these
women see each other and continue to
create this support system. " Only then
can we see women not just at the table
but, in fact, commanding it. CI
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MARCH 2022 Commercial Integrator 23
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Commercial Integrator March 2022

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

Commercial Integrator March 2022 - Cover1
Commercial Integrator March 2022 - Cover2
Commercial Integrator March 2022 - 1
Commercial Integrator March 2022 - 2
Commercial Integrator March 2022 - 3
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