Smurfette Syndrome

At a recent industry event I attended, the facilitator (an outside consultant) expressed some mild surprise that I was the only woman in the room. Me? I hadn’t really noticed. At this point, I’m pretty much used to it.

I don’t mind getting a bathroom to myself, but it can still be hard to be the only woman at an event. Sometimes I feel like a Smurfette in a sea of Brainys, Handys and Heftys. When you’re the only female in a group, your gender starts to define you.

Sometimes, no… make that a lot of times, I want to talk about programming, or technology or CTS prep or pretty much anything besides “wow, you don’t see too many women at [this event].” I’m sure it’s pretty novel for other people when I show up at some industry training. But for me, it’s just another day at work.

Lucky for me, there are more and more amazing women joining our industry every year. I’ve made wonderful friendships and met truly amazing mentors through my work with the Women of InfoComm Network and other industry organizations. When I feel down, I look to the women out there who are kicking butt and taking names. Not only do they inspire me, but so many of them have been there for me when I was unsure about myself and how I was doing.

I joke that Christa Bender is my #AVsister, because that is one of the highest compliments that I can give to an important woman in my life. We look out for each other. She’s the person that I go to when that little voice in the back of my head is telling me that something is problematic. She also happens to be the person I go to when I want to get some fun started.

I look forward to the day when I’m just one woman in a sea of thousands. But, until then, I’m so glad to have so many incredible so many women of AV in my life.

Image via Smurfs: The Lost Village