My name is Anam Henna Rashid, I’m employed by Dalen Limited as a Product Designer and Space Planner. Dalen is primarily focused on engineering and technical roles, and to supplement this, I was taken on to provide a creative approach to some of the design work.
There aren’t as many women in the AV industry as there are men. However, in our company female roles can be found in sales, accounts, marketing, and design as well as on the shop floor. Although the design work carried out by females in our company involves a degree of engineering, it is typically a male profession.
In a very male dominated company, I would say that women are treated differently, but the personality of an individual has a huge effect on how this treatment manifests itself. Working in a team that is heavily focused on engineering and due to the skill set/experience of individuals in the team, I have noticed that a lot of the important decisions being made are by the male gender.
Our company offers equal opportunities for professional development to all members of staff. As a designer I have been sent on many development courses to gain a better understanding of the software that we use. I have been encouraged to constantly develop my technical skills as this is something that is necessary within the workforce. This has enabled me to improve my skillset and given me a much better understanding of software and processes within my profession.
To improve the professional development of its female employees our company could provide more opportunities for women to advance their careers. Putting women at the forefront of the company’s PR, highlighting the skills and insights that individuals bring to the company. Offering leadership programmes, mentoring and encouraging diversity at the highest levels in the company where the decision-making process happens.
Dalen Limited actively encourages diversity, has an equal opportunities policy that is at the forefront of the company’s ethos and has a zero-tolerance approach towards any form of discrimination or abuse in the workplace. From my own experience women are given the same opportunities as men during the interview process and this has continued throughout my employment.
I think the future for women in AV is looking very positive. More and more women are entering the AV industry in professional roles such as design. Dalen as a company is slowly progressing towards having more women take on roles that are perceived as male oriented. My team mate and I are real examples of this as we were the first females to be employed within the design team.
Rather than focusing on the root of why we are different in terms of gender, race, religion or sexuality employers need to embrace people’s individuality and realise that these things have no bearing on whether someone is suitable for a role. What Dalen saw in my colleague and I is that we have skills as individuals that complemented, improved and balanced the team.