AES Section Meeting Reports

Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences - December 1, 2016

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The meeting began at 8pm with a diverse attendee of young men and women of CRAS. There were five panelists, with a wide range of expertise. Fatima De La Cruz was moderating the panel. Dylan Gette-King is the lead engineer for an events company. Erica Lynne is a video editor at an investment firm. SkylaRose WildEagle is a Field Engineer at AV Concepts. Journee Tworek is a recent CRAS grad, and A2 at the Mesa Arts Center. Tamara Parker is a live sound engineer but started in studio work. Tamara did an internship at Electric Lady, moved to LA, and even worked with Smashing Pumpkins! After introductions Fatima kicked off the panel discussion with questions.

The panel opened with the question: is the industry male dominated? - SkylaRose agrees that it is still male dominated in the corporate industry. Erica has another point of view: that because females are so rare that it may be an advantage of sorts. Tamara echoes this sentiment, since working at Electric Lady, and Smashing Pumpkins was they was open to female engineers. In her work, SkylaRose noted that she has however seen a lot of women working in lighting.

The point remains that women are a minority in this industry. Are there direct or indirect negative consequences such as wage gap or other forms of inequality? The panelists seemed to agree that they have not experienced a wage gap, and that in 2016, working hard and proving yourself will set you apart, regardless of gender.

Are there issues with stereotypes, challenges in a management position? The prevalent stereotype seems to be that men assume women cannot lift heavy things. Erica concedes that in general women may not be able to lift heavier things, but hard work and being personable will trump any other limitation. There have been some unwanted advances but unless there are serious it can be dealt with on the side in a professional manner. In terms of being in a management position, it mostly depends on personality rather than whether they are women. Some are comfortable with "being bossy" if it will get things done right, while others approach management by being friendly and smiling.

There may be some stalwarts that do not want to work with women, but the panelists agree that in 2016, it is a more or less equal playing field, and that it is a challenging industry for everyone. Erica presses on the point that above all else, hard work, networking, and being personable will lead to success.

After the main panel discussion, we opened up the session to Q&A, where both men and women asked questions about the audio industry.

We appreciate the five women for a productive discussion, and we look forward to another panel in the near future!

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AES - Audio Engineering Society