I sat down with Tabatha O’Connor, CEDIA Chief Operating Officer, to talk about what can be done to make the CEDIA Board of Directors more diversified.
Maureen Jenson: I understand how much you want to encourage women to run for a seat on the board. After all, we do have a lot of influential women in the consumer technology and integration industry.
Tabatha O’Connor: That’s correct. As CEDIA and its member companies have evolved and changed over the past quarter-plus century, it’s been gratifying to see more and more women in every aspect of the channel. CEDIA itself has seen a greater number of female volunteers offering their insight and expertise, and that’s key to our members’ continued success. After all, a huge percentage of an integrator’s client base are women.
There’s one aspect of CEDIA that could use more diversity, however – and that’s the association’s Board of Directors. Currently, CEDIA doesn’t have a single woman on the Board. While women are represented in many key positions across our global staff and volunteer roles, our Board is most decidedly all-male.
MJ: So what are you doing to encourage industry women to run for the board?
TO: What we’re doing is asking for women who have the time and energy to devote to making positive changes in the industry and our CEDIA community to consider running for the CEDIA Board of Directors. You can nominate yourself, or a colleague can put your name up for consideration.
Nominations opened on July 11, and close on August 7. Nominated candidates will go through an interview process, then on to the Governance Committee for review, followed by final ballot selection. Voting takes place from September 5 through October 16, 2017.
MJ: Who is eligible for voting for new Board members?
TO: Our Board is elected by its members, and of course, women can’t be elected if there aren’t any female candidates in the first place.
MJ: Why do you think CEDIA will be better-served with female board members?
TO: We need female perspectives. We need diverse viewpoints. We need a Board that best represents the depth and scope of our association’s members as it stands today.
And one final thought if I may; we’re happy to help guide women through this process if they’d like to investigate joining our leadership team. If anyone has any questions about the process or the Board itself, please don’t hesitate to reach out – my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.