A group of industry leaders have gathered to form Women in AV/IT (WAVIT), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and empowering women in the AV and IT industries through education, representation, and inclusion.
“The idea came to us a few years ago during a virtual happy hour. We were discussing how women make up a fraction of the Pro AV industry and how we wanted to change that. So, we decided to do something about it,” said Brandy Alvarado-Miranda, one of the group’s co-founders and CEO of BAM! Marketing & PR Agency. “We need a firm headwind to grow those numbers, and we chose to be our own headwind through WAVIT. Our intention is to provide a space for all AV and IT professionals to band together to make this industry a safer and more inclusive space.”
The new group will focus on educating, recruiting and retaining women in the AV and IT industries, and opportunities for leadership and recognition. WAVIT is set to provide a plethora of mentorship opportunities, resources for sexual harassment, and will focus on creating more speaking and thought leadership opportunities for women. The organization’s leadership also has plans to work with STEM groups to recruit young women into the Pro AV and IT industries. The group was launched in January and has already acquired Women of Digital Signage, another nonprofit organization, which will continue as a sub-group of WAVIT.
“Our organization is going to focus on filling in the gap—complementing industry resources and offering tools to create strong and focused initiatives,” added Gina Sansivero, co-founder of WAVIT and vice president of marketing and corporate communications at AtlasIED. “We want to be bold. We’re here to make ripples that create waves.”
The founding board members include:
- Brandy Alvarado-Miranda, CEO, BAM! Marketing & PR Agency
- Erica Carroll, senior manager, product training and adoption, Mersive Technologies
- Megan A. Dutta, director of emerging markets, THE rAVe Agency
- Amanda Eberle, general manager, AV Chicago
- Jennifer Goodyer, sales manager, RTSales
- Lainie Mataras, director-senior director consultant, architect, Design Group, Planar
- Althea Ricketts, vice president of corporate initiatives, Shure
- Gina Sansivero, vice president of marketing and corporate communications, AtlasIED
- Susan Wilhite, business development manager, commercial, Snap One
Cory Schaeffer, who retired from QSC in June 2022, will serve as ex-officio advisor to the board.
“WAVIT grew from a group of like-minded women looking to move the needle towards more equity and representation in the AV/IT landscape. We know that women are looking for mentorship opportunities for both career and personal growth, as well as general support,” said Carroll, who will serve as president. “As president of WAVIT Board, my goal is to create programs and initiatives with an emphasis on education and establishing career pathways.”
“Join us in making waves,” concluded Alvarado-Miranda. “Membership is open to all individuals—women, men, agender, cisgender, binary or nonbinary, transgender, or anyone who may identify with a gender not listed here. The term ‘women’s’ association should not sway you from joining as all are welcome regardless of gender.”
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The organization's founders believe in lowering the barriers to entry and scholarships are available to those who cannot afford the membership fee. For more information on joining WAVIT, visit womeninavit.org.
The group is also open to partner alliances with other trade associations, organizations, and media companies that want to champion women in the workplace.