At AVIXA, diversity, equity and inclusion are not hip buzzwords, appropriate for this moment in history, but real principles reflected in the organization’s, and thus InfoComm’s, marrow in a pledge for and commitment to an equitable future. As a member-driven association, AVIXA is using its talent and resources, as well as that of its industry volunteers, to be a voice of change, as reflected dramatically in the content it produces and actions it takes at InfoComm 2021.
Together we have an opportunity to create a world in which we embrace individuals from all backgrounds. The diverse thought and experience of women, LGBTQ+, Black, Latino, Asian, Indigenous, and disabled persons as well as veterans expands our industry knowledge, workplace success, business performance and innovation, and represents a better future for our AV community. Recognizing that there is much work to be done and this commitment is merely the beginning, AVIXA is calling on the entire audiovisual industry to stand with it and champion further equity and full representation across every aspect of the business.
The AV Industry Pledge for an Equitable Future is a personal pledge that any individual can take to help drive inclusive behavior across their company and the industry. The pledge is a highlight of the AVIXA booth (5043) at InfoComm 2021, where attendees can sign it in person, or sign up online at https://www.avixa.org/about-us/a-culture-of-inclusion/get-involved-sign-the-pledge/#pledge and encourage those you work with to do the same.
This commitment will be evident at InfoComm 2021 in a number of ways:
Pass the Mic
For InfoComm 2021, AVIXA set out to make the InfoComm education program more inclusive by encouraging speakers to include and encourage colleagues to present sessions at InfoComm to amplify more diverse voices and points of view. In the first year of requesting speaker demographics and compiling the data, one of the biggest takeaways is the much higher percentage of female representation among the speakers than InfoComm normally sees for show attendance. On average, about 12 percent of attendance is female, and the stages this year are representing females at 28 percent across all sessions. While the team at AVIXA believes there is vast room for improvement in speaker demographics and equitable representation, 2021 can now provide a benchmark for improvement year over year.
AVIXA has designated several bathrooms around the OCCC as all-gender restrooms that can be used by participants regardless of their gender. These are private, one-person restrooms.
Level 2: #203: next to meeting room W204C, across from Hall A4 entrance; #215: located in Hall A3, front of hall across from booth 1300; #223: located in Hall B4, front of hall across from booth 4101; #227: located in Hall C, front of hall across from booth 5342; #263: next to meeting room W223AB, West D Lobby.
Level 3: #305: across from meeting room W305A; #309: across from meeting room W312A.
Level 4: #405: next to Valencia Room W415D.
The OCCC has wellness rooms, which are dedicated private locations that can be used for personal medical needs, prayer, and by new mothers for pumping. The rooms ensure privacy and offer a lock that notifies others whether the room is occupied.
Six wellness rooms are located within the West Building of the OCCC:
Level 1: Two rooms located across from restrooms before the ramp to level 2
Level 2: Located in Hall C and in E/F Lobby near Tangerine Ballroom Section #4
Level 3: In C Lobby beside meeting room W315
Level 4: Beside elevator by meeting room W414
AVIXA Diversity Council
The AVIXA Diversity Council is a group of AVIXA members interested in bringing together AV and integrated experience professionals from various backgrounds and cultures to facilitate a larger dialogue around initiatives of inclusion within the industry. All are welcome in this council, no matter their race, gender identity, sexual orientation, veteran status, religious affiliation, disability, national origin or any other community affiliation. The AVIXA Diversity Council chair is Frank Padikkala, Kairos solution architect, Panasonic. To join the Diversity Council, sign up at https://infocomm.wufoo.com/forms/zr466ih06r3d7p/.
AVIXA Diversity Council Session & Reception (sold out)
“DEI and Tech: A Case for People and Business Transformation—How diversity and technology intersect to evolve leadership, relationships and the bottom line in organizations.” The speaker for this session is Shelby Hill, Ph.D., founder/president, Next Leadership. A speaker, facilitator, DEI advocate and leadership expert, Hill works with businesses to identify talent and succession development. Hill has worked in leadership, diversity and inclusion with some of the world’s largest hospitality and healthcare brands, developing employee resource programs (ERGs), designing and facilitating leadership and diversity programs for hundreds of leaders and team members. He has more than 15 years of experience in facilitation, consulting and leadership development. A graduate of the University of South Florida, Hill is a 2021 Ph.D. candidate in management education and leadership.
Anti-Harassment Policy at InfoComm
AVIXA is committed to providing a professional environment free from physical, psychological and verbal harassment. AVIXA will not tolerate harassment of any kind, including but not limited to harassment based on ethnicity, religion, disability, physical appearance, gender or sexual orientation. This policy applies to all speakers, staff, volunteers, guests, members, contractors, exhibitors, government and attendees at AVIXA conferences, meetings and events. The full anti-harassment statement is part of the InfoComm Show Rules, which must be adhered to by all participants. The full statement is at https://www.infocommshow.org/event-info/show-rules.
This story originally appeared in the Wednesday, Oct. 27, edition of the InfoComm 2021 Show Daily. Read more from the InfoComm Day One Show Daily online.
Other Industry Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
AVIXA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative Takes Flight • Members of AVIXA's Diversity Task Force Rochelle Richardson, Narin Nara, and April Peay sat down virtually with AVNetwork to share in their own words why their initiatives will lead the pro AV industry down a brighter path.
AVIXA Announces AV Industry Pledge for an Equitable Future • AVIXA is championing an environment of giving, sharing, mutual respect, and equity through both learning and education, with a commitment to providing training resources and research that will support the industry’s progress toward an equitable future.
Why Diversity Matters to AVIXA • AVIXA CEO Dave Labuskes shares why diversity should matter to all members of the pro AV community and what AVIXA is doing to promote diversity within the industry.