COVID-19 Update

A Business Case for Diversity in Pro AV

By creating a culture that embraces pro AV diversity, this integration firm recruits from an expanded talent pool & unlocks better solutions.

Christina De Bono Leave a Comment
A Business Case for Diversity in Pro AV

COVID-19 has presented our industry with a threat unprecedented in our lifetimes, but there’s one respect in which it isn’t so different from any other challenge. 

Whether you’re facing a once-in-a-century pandemic, a technological revolution or economic upheaval, Pro AV integration firm diversity will help protect you. More than that, it will lead you through the hardship.  

Why? Because diversity is strength, and the more strengths you have, the more easily you can adapt and come up with solutions to critical problems. That’s why we hire and mentor brilliant young people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives. 

As a small but fast-growing AV integrator, ClearTech can’t afford to hire industry superstars; we have to cultivate them from within, and we do that by giving people a chance to show us what they’re made of. 

The result is a workforce that doesn’t necessarily look like the typical AV integrator, but is just as capable as the very best of them because of the uniqueness and diversity of their skills and perspectives.   

But here’s what we all need to remember: The power of pro AV diversity can only be tapped to the extent that an organization nurtures it. At ClearTech, we have made a conscious and continuous effort to promote diversity. 

That means looking at more than just a person’s resume. It means taking time to listen to a new hire’s “wild idea” for how to bring in new business. It means acknowledging that maybe you alone don’t have all the answers. 

On the part of leadership, it takes patience, humility, and curiosity. 

Benefits of Recognizing Talent 

Today, our staff represents tremendous diversity with the average age of a ClearTech employee at about 30. That isn’t the norm in our industry. Nor is the fact that our most powerful marketing mind was originally a delivery person with a knack for digital design and IT. 

Our most formidable operational mind? That belongs to a young woman who came to us as an account temp filling a payroll clerk position.  

ClearTech was fortunate enough to nab that talent because, from day one, we had a vision to build an organization that mirrored the diversity of organizations we serve. 

Instead of focusing primarily on products and tech solutions, we focused on our clients’ business and life cycle needs. To really deliver for our clients, we had to see the world as it is. The demographics were changing, and we needed to reflect that.  

But it wasn’t enough just to hire people from diverse backgrounds. We needed to create a culture that gave all perspectives a voice and enabled all our people to contribute what they do best. We vowed never to pigeonhole people. 

Does every new hire work out? No, but most do. We’re clear about who we are, and that makes it easier to attract those who are going to fit in. 

In return, we become a magnet not only for smart, technologically savvy people, but for those who strengthen us with their resilience, their imagination and their promise.  

Culture of Pro AV Diversity 

It was clear to me then, and it remains so today: Creating a culture that celebrates diversity not only makes ClearTech a better place for employees, it makes us more successful as a business by enabling us to better serve our clients. 

From the ingenuity of our hybrid learning solutions to the COVID-related upgrades we’ve made to our clients’ training rooms, conference rooms and emergency operation centers, the energy and nimbleness of our team have enabled remarkable accomplishments over the last eight months.  

Listen: AVIXA’s Diversity Initiatives in 2021 & Beyond: Episode 126 of AV+

Something else that diversity provides: a heightened awareness of the communities where we live and do business. When you have a workforce that reflects the world around you, you can’t help but want to be a force for positive change, particularly in these most challenging times that we are living through.  

So this fall, we decided to participate in the Western Service Workers Association’s Fall Back-to-School Drive. Our team raised funds to purchase 200 high-quality backpacks and various school supplies to fill them up, and volunteers from our team coordinated with WSWA to provide contactless delivery. The participation rate among our staff was 100%.  

Unity from diversity. That, too, is a powerful difference maker.  

 

Learn more about NSCA and how to become a member.

About the Author

Contact:

Christina De Bono is president of Altadena, Calif.-based ClearTech (cleartechmedia.com) and an NSCA Board member.

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