How Will AV Industry Combat Early-Career Departures of Women?

*Originally published on

Survey by Accenture and Girls Who Code shows 50 percent of women who spend time in tech leave the field by age 35, largely because of a lack of opportunity.

The quest to increase the diversity both in the AV integration workforce and at industry events faces one obstacle that many in the space might not have known: half of women who spend the early parts of their careers in tech leave for other opportunities by age 35, according to a new study.

The survey by Accenture and Girls Who Code traces the problem with keeping women in the tech realm as largely attributable to “an inclusivity problem,” noting more than one in three survey respondents say it’s their primary reason for leaving the industry early in their careers.

The survey of 1,990 tech workers, 500 high-ranking human resources executives and 2,700 college students was conducted online between February and July 2019.

Here’s more about the survey from Fast Company:

The percentages get worse for women of color and lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women. Only a bit more than two-thirds of WOC “see a clear pathway from studying tech, engineering, or math to a related career,” the Resetting Tech Culture study finds.

The survey identifies several ways to help keep 1.4 million young women in tech in the next decade: support parental leave policies, set diversity goals, create women-only supports, reward creativity and innovation, and promote inclusive networking.

“Making it so organizations have the people they need to grow, and women have the opportunities they want to succeed, is a winning strategy for companies and for the strength of the economy at large,” the research says.

AVIXA has vowed to increase the diversity among its speakers, presenters and educators at InfoComm 2021 and beyond as part of an effort to incorporate new voices into the conversation about AV and technology and it has the support of the AVIXA Diversity Council and Women’s Council.

Here’s hoping other organizations will follow AVIXA’s lead and make diversity more than just a talking point, but an actual priority for them. I didn’t think much about this survey’s conclusion before I saw the story about it, but it adds up now that I’ve read it.

I didn’t calculate the percentage of women we’ve included in the annual 40 Influencers Under 40 who have left AV since their inclusion, but I wonder if even that group has a 50 percent departure rate.

Business leaders across AV and other tech industry must do better to make sure all voices are heard and it’s good to see that they’re realizing it by putting procedures in place that allow that diversity.