Two years ago, an InfoComm event brought together some 35 women to discuss their career aspirations and the support they could offer each other at the show where males account for 89 percent of registered attendees.
Despite the inaugural event’s meager attendance, word got out. Last year the Women of InfoComm Breakfast, as the event was dubbed, attracted a far larger and ever more enthusiastic audience; this year it stood out as one of InfoComm 2015’s most anticipated events.
“People want a group of contemporaries to talk with,” said Johanne Belanger, InfoComm Leadership Search Committee (LSC) chair and President of Freeman Audio Visual Canada, in her kickoff address to more than 200 attendees. Taking a positive tack, she stressed the importance of men playing a supportive rather than adversarial role in the Women of InfoComm organization. “Women leadership advancement doesn’t have to happen despite men,” she stated, “but has to happen with the help of men. Men have to be just as passionate about this as women.”
Following the breakfast, the newly formed Women of InfoComm Network Council (dedicated to continuing the positive networking system for women in the industry) discussed expanding its events throughout the year, as well as ways to grow the council.
“We have events around the globe already,” said Erin Bolton, Chair of the Women of InfoComm Network Council. “We were formed this year to support our colleagues, and we’re trying to create opportunities for women to network and meet.”
The breakfast also included a presentation from motivational speaker Sam Horn on achieving goals in any career, gender aside.
“There are two kinds of people in a game — those that step back and say ‘don’t give me the ball,’ and those that take the ball,” Horn said in stressing her philosophy of maintaining unwavering confidence and focus every step of the way. “You need to keep your goal in sight and remind yourself about what you want to do.”
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