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Opinion: making WAVEs

Inclusivity and diversity will make the AV industry a more exciting place to be, writes Amy Cronshaw, senior consultant at macom UK

The WAVE mentor programme has been an excellent opportunity to meet new people within the industry and to help the next ‘wave’ of women in AV feel strong and empowered.

I chose to get involved in the WAVE mentoring programme as I wanted to meet like minded women and build a stronger AV industry that is more inclusive and diverse. I have found that along with this I have also experienced a new network of support and positivity that is breeding a new way of looking at the industry.

I work for a company that has an inclusive and positive workplace environment. It is a refreshing and exciting atmosphere to work in within the industry and I feel privileged to work for such a forward thinking business. By being involved in the programme I hope to spread the positive way of working that macom UK has with others with the hope that more employers in the industry take a similar approach.

I am mentoring a young woman, helping her navigate her current position, plan career progression, set goals and help build a structured approach to achieving them. When we meet up our conversation is widespread and the topics we focus on differ from month to month covering everything from confidence when presenting to increasing technical knowledge.

‘The most important thing the WAVE mentorship scheme does is raise awareness of a female presence in leadership roles in the industry’

For me the most important thing the WAVE mentorship scheme does is raise awareness of a female presence in leadership roles in the industry. It has provided a platform for passion and enthusiasm for the industry we work in and a route to sharing industry knowledge that may help others.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the process to date, seeing my mentee grow in confidence as we tackle new tasks together month by month. As the programme continues, I hope to see a continued growth in skillsets and self-confidence that I have already begun to see in the inspiring young woman I am working with.

While the focus is on me mentoring my mentee and using my knowledge to assist her, I have found the process has also affected me. My people management skills have developed in a new direction and a fresh pair of eyes has helped me to see things that I have been doing for a long time in a new light, encouraging change in my own workplace practices.

A large amount of my day-to-day work is detailed, project-focused tasks or large-scale strategic planning, getting to work on a one-to-one basis with someone who needs guidance has helped me open up my focus and allowed me to look at my management style. I have found the experience enlightening and entirely positive.

I am looking forward to continuing to see and hear about the progress of the women in the programme and how they are opening up the AV industry with their ideas and input for years to come. I hope that the WAVE mentoring programme encourages others to work towards encouraging young people to enter the industry by providing more structured support for their progression.