Welcome to WAVIT

During the peak of the pandemic, many of us were craving that human connection and having regular happy hours with our #AVBesties that we missed so much. On a call, one of our favorite topics—equality in the workplace—came up. We began talking about some of the things we wanted to champion more in the coming years like equal pay, making the ProAV and IT industries safer for women, and STEM recruiting.

While all of us have been involved in various women’s organizations, we didn’t feel like our needs were being fully met. We began discussing the formation of our own organization where we could be bold, be fierce, and make waves. Hence, Women in AV/IT (WAVIT) was born.

What is WAVIT?

WAVIT is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on education, recruiting and retaining women in the AV and IT industries, and opportunities for leadership and recognition.

Our board consists of an amazing group of industry leaders who are dedicated to our mission and all about taking action. The WAVIT board members were chosen with intention. We wanted to include women from various facets of the industry and women who are determined to make waves, those who won’t stop until we’ve achieved equity and equality in these industries. We have a long road ahead of us and needed to ensure our team was up for the challenge and committed to growing this organization.

The founding board members include:

  • Brandy Alvarado-Miranda, CEO, BAM! Marketing & PR Agency

  • Megan A. Dutta, Director of Emerging Markets, THE rAVe Agency

  • Amanda Eberle, General Manager, AV Chicago

  • Jennifer Goodyer, Sales Manager, RTSales, Inc. 

  • Lainie Mataras, Director - Sr. Director Consultant, Architect, Design Group, Planar

  • Althea Ricketts, Vice President of Corporate Initiatives, Shure

  • Gina Sansivero, VP 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. While each of us have our individual talents and beliefs, we all came together to lead this beautiful organization, and we’re excited to be launching it!

What will WAVIT do?

We are women of action. We’re not here to only create mentorship and networking opportunities—although those are both important elements of any women’s group—we want to do more. 

We are focused on education, recruiting and retaining women in the AV and IT industries, and opportunities for leadership and recognition. We’re fans of passing the mic and our leadership principles will reflect that. Our board and committee leaders will all have term limits. We are already working closely with major ProAV media outlets to create speaking and writing opportunities for our members. In short, we’ll do whatever it takes to help elevate women in ProAV.

We’re going to grow the number of women in ProAV and IT. Our team of seasoned volunteers is determined to see the industries look more like the real world—with our goal being 50% women in the ProAV and IT industries. The pandemic and work environments did not do us any favors. Many women in AV/IT lost their jobs, or had to go outside the industry to find work to support their families. Our ranks were already very small going into the pandemic, and we lost a lot of momentum and great talented women. Working with young women and girls to promote a pipeline to the industries will be critical to our success.

We are strictly anti-sexual harassment and assault. We have standards in place for our members and our sponsors. Anyone involved in this group will need to make a commitment to making the industries a safer place for women. We also plan to create sexual harassment training and safe places for reporting.

How Can You Help?

You can start by becoming a member and letting us know your areas of interest. This will help shape our education, action plans, and more. 

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. 

Want to really affect change? Volunteer with us! We are ready to turn the tides so we’re looking for do-ers—we need people who are truly passionate about turning ripples into waves of change. 

Don’t have the time to volunteer right now but want to help us push the mission of equity and equality in ProAV and IT? Introduce us to your friends! Share our news, our social media, our mission, and help spread the word.

Our group is open to partner alliances with other trade associations, organizations, and media companies that want to champion women in the workplace. Want to learn more or introduce us to a group? Contact Susan Wilhite at [email protected].

Ripples Make Waves

During our first year, we will be all about making ripples, which I’ve even referenced several times in this blog. We know that ripples cause waves and we are embracing the waves of change that are about to come. We hope you join us. 

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