During and after CES the topic of diversity in the electronics industry has been discussed. I think that this is an important topic to talk about. It is something that all of us can facilitate and participate in . It does not have to be big grandiose actions, although they are encouraged. It is just as important to do small day to day things. These topics do not go away after the trade show does. We, all of us, need to be aware of them everyday. We need to make small incremental steps constantly. There are all sorts of platitudes I can put here. I want to put two simple ones here:
- Always try to make the world a better place.
- Change never comes if you are happy with the status quo.
With that in mind, I have a request for all presenters in the AV industry. This applies to Integrated Systems Europe, InfoComm Worldwide shows, Avixa classes, manufacturer training, mini trade shows… etc. Any place there is a presenter and a question and answer session. Answer one question from a woman, then one question from a man, then one from a woman… repeat as necessary. It could just as easily be, one caucasian, one person of color. Basically make efforts to help the underrepresented get represented.
I cannot take credit for this idea, Cory Doctorow stated it during an interview with Edward Snowden at the New York Public Library. You can view or listen to the event on the New York Public Library’s website.
The reason I like this idea is that it is simple. It is something an individual can do independently. It would be great if organizations made it a formal process. Don’t wait for that. Do it now, start now. Do it in meetings at your office. Do it when having webinars.
Here is my simple request, for those presenting at ISE2018, just implement it. Don’t wait for anyone to do something formal, start making the world a better place on your own.
AVNation as a company fully embraces this position. We would like to have more diverse people involved, being on podcasts, writing articles, participating in events we coordinate. We have set a formal goal of at least one woman on each and every podcast we produce. We had this as an internal goal for over a year. Now we are asking for help to accomplish this goal. This goal of diversity is not just gender based. Anyone who feels they are an outlier is encouraged to reach out to Tim, Matt, or myself if you would like to appear on a podcast, if you want to blog, if you want to take over our twitter account for a day. Not sure how to start, just fill out the form below.
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The opinions expressed here are Bradford’s and AVNation’s. He does not speak for his employer.