Women in Consumer Electronics (CE), an organization that promotes the advancement of women in the CE industry, hosted its fourth annual Women in CE Career Enhancement Forum at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City in conjunction with CE Week. Titled “Find Your Voice, Own Your Career,” the forum featured networking opportunities, sessions, workshops, and keynote speakers designed to empower women, build professional networks, and expand the reach of the technology economy.
A highlight of the forum was the opening keynote address delivered by Jessica Rosenworcel, commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), who noted that while science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are the fastest growing fields in the economy, women hold less than a quarter of all jobs in those sectors. The Career Enhancement Forum included a special Fireside Chat, presented by Diane DiResta, founder and CEO of DiResta Communications, Inc., a New York City consultancy serving business leaders who deliver high-stakes communications, and Andrea Smith, an award-winning news and technology journalist with more than two decades of experience covering consumer technology.
In “Confidence Trumps Competence,” DiResta and Smith discussed that it’s not what you know; it’s how you convey what you know. In addition, the Women in CE Connect Program — introduced at the 2014 forum by Deena Ghazarian, SVP of global sales and finance at Monster Products — returned with a small group interactive breakout session led by Samantha Smith, executive vice president of Etail Eye, North America, and Ami Wright, director of sales and marketing at One Firefly.
Also taking the stage was self-proclaimed “IDEApreneur,” author, and executive coach Sam Horn, who shared her “Don’t Step Back: Step Up” ideas on how Women in CE can garner the attention they want, need, and deserve for their contributions as well as how they can create the intriguing career of their dreams. Horn was joined by two unscripted guests: Miki Agrawal, author of “Do Cool Sh*t,” and Gail Sheehy, an American journalist and author of 17 books, including “Passages,” named by the Library of Congress as one of the 10 most influential books of our times. Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute for Gender in Media, concluded the forum with a keynote during which she addressed the imbalance of female media representation in children’s programming and how that imbalance can be righted.
The forum was open to women working in all segments of the CE industry, including manufacturers, major retailers, specialty retailers, suppliers, integrators, distributors, manufacturers’ representatives, buying groups, and consultants.