Having been involved in the creation and development of the WAVE mentoring scheme, it’s something that I believe is incredibly important and can make a real difference to the AV industry. There’s no denying that the sector has a problem when it comes to female representation at higher levels, which in turns causes problems with staff retention. This is something that can’t be ignored if the industry is going to continue to grow and innovate – a report from The Peterson Institute for International Economics last year found that having women at the C-Suite level significantly increases net margins, while various reports have highlighted the positive effect of diversity at decision-making level.
The mentoring scheme is a huge step in the right direction towards achieving this and it’s great to see the relationships that are developing between the mentors and mentees and the benefits that are already coming from the scheme.
My belief in the importance of supporting and developing talent has been a core part of the CDEC ethos for many years. Not only do we work with the local community to highlight the opportunities a career in AV can bring and offer work experience placements, we also encourage the team to pursue professional development qualifications and further their skills wherever possible. We also have a strong female presence across all roles in the business; in fact, we even have two employees taking part in the mentoring scheme, so I am able to see its impact first-hand.
Already, being able to communicate with and learn from women in leadership positions is helping to show the career paths that are available while highlighting the fact that these positions are available and there’s no reason why women shouldn’t be filling more of them.
I have no doubt that the mentoring scheme is going to go from strength to strength and we’re already making plans for the second intake of mentees. I’m excited to see more of the results of this scheme and to continue to hear from those taking part about the impact it’s having on them. As we gain more feedback we’ll continue to adapt and develop the scheme and I’d encourage anyone who is looking to get ahead in the AV industry to take part in the scheme.