I love industry awards. It's important to recognize innovative products, industry leaders, and future talent. Publishing SCN's The Nine each year is one of my favorite things to do. The honorees are excited, but what's even cooler is the industry is excited for them.
It's so fun to see all of the congratulatory tweets and LinkedIn posts when awards are announced. People love to brag and say "Hey, that's my friend and I'm so proud of her!" or "This is so cool that he's being recognized." And I completely love that.
But there's one thing I don't love about awards season...industry professionals taking credit for "discovering" people or even taking credit for their accomplishments. We don't discover talent—we take notice and let them shine. The accomplishments of honorees are their own. We all get by with a little help from our friends, but, ultimately, a person's success (or failure) is his or her own.
So, my friends, choose your words carefully. Celebrate the successes of your friends, but don't try to make their success your success. And to award winners who are politely biting their tongue while other try to claim a piece of their pie, never let them dull your sparkle!
Why do some women criticize and block other women at every turn?
We'll start with a quick story that inspired this blog...I was recently named Women in Consumer Technology's 2018 Woman to Watch (YEAH, GO ME!), an honor that both thrilled and excited me. My euphoria was almost immediately crashed when I heard through the grapevine, from multiple sources, that another woman was bashing me to industry associates saying "Megan's part of a group of girls that all just nominate each other for awards and that's how they win awards."
My immediate reaction was not one of anger, but one of sorrow. I'm sorry that this woman doesn't have any awesome group of women supporting her and building her up.
Do I have an awesome lady gang in the AV industry? ABSOLUTELY.
Do I nominate other women for industry awards? HECK YES. But do you know why I do it? Not because they're woman or they're my friends—I do it because they deserve it. And *spoileralert* if they weren't worthy, they wouldn't be winning.
I've been in this industry for almost a dozen years, and I've met a plethora of women willing to help build me up in all ways. They've been there to strategize on the latest marketing techniques, work together on making our industry associations stronger, talk me through countless career hurdles, and even to share personal stories of heartbreak and triumph outside the office.
Now that I'm a little older, and a little wiser, I've had the privilege of being a mentor to younger women just beginning their AV careers. Getting a little corny, if they can believe it, they can achieve it, and I'm there to help them achieve it, not to take credit for them, or tear them down.
I guess what I'm saying is this: there's room for all of us at the top; let's build each other up instead of tearing each other down. We're in a male-dominated industry—we don't need discord and separations, we need to band together.
Next time you're angry about the accomplishments of another woman, turn that frown upside down, and be genuinely happy for them. Give her a call, text, e-mail, and tell her how amazing she is. Share her wins on your social. After all, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.
P.S. If you haven't cultivated your own awesome girl gang, join one of the many industry groups that have formed. You'll meet some cool people who are happy to have you in their circle.
AVIXA Women's Council
Women in Consumer Technology
Women of Digital Signage
Women of the Channel
P.P.S. Men are always welcome to join and support these groups!
Last week, I was elated to discover I am the recipient of a 2017 InfoComm Young AV Professionals Awards. This award calls attention to the AV industry by recognizing that young people are achieving rewarding and successful careers in the audiovisual and information communications industries.
I am honored to be among this elite group of men and women leading the charge into the future of AV. Over the past 11 years, I have worked closely with the staff of InfoComm and have had the privilege of watching the association, show and staff grow and evolve. I’m proud to say I’ve been able to participate in this evolution and that my contributions are meaningful.
Congratulations to Wallace Johnson, CTS, who will also be receiving the Young AV Professionals Award. The award ceremony will take place on Wednesday, June 14th at 2 pm. I hope to see you there!
To see the full list of winners: https://www.infocomm.org/cps/rde/xchg/infocomm/hs.xsl/32865.htm
I've said it time and time again - MY TEAM ROCKS! Each and every one of them works hard every single day. I'll just be honest - they get shit done. Whether it's a last-minute request or a long-term project, they don't miss a beat. They're great time managers and super creative which is a hard combo to find.
I know this, now you know this and I'm happy to say the AV industry knows this because we've been crowned Sales & Marketing Team of the Year from Residential Systems.
I'm immortalizing their names below - feel free to connect with them on LinkedIn.
Lawrence Campbell, Digital Graphic Designer
Megan Dutta, MarComm Manager
Rachael Hinds, MarComm Associate
Yesenia Martinez, MarComm Assistant
Mila Tulchinskaya, Sr Graphic Designer
Kelly Yuen, Marketing Specialist
My team and I recently spent a lot of time working on the concept for our "Reign Supreme" campaign which launched Peerless-AV's latest video wall mount. I'm pleased to say that our hard work and creativity paid off - we recently took home a 2016 MarComm Gold Award - Print Campaign for our Reign Supreme series of ads!
Megan A. Dutta