The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and the Hollywood Post Alliance(R) (HPA) Women in Post presented "Wendy Aylsworth in Conversation with Friends" to a full house on Monday in conjunction with the SMPTE 2013 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition in Hollywood. The event, which sold out well in advance, attracted a diverse group of women who are engaged in a variety of roles in the media and technology industry. SMPTE is the worldwide leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, entertainment, and technology industries. The Women in Post group of the HPA -- the trade association for the postproduction community -- attracts professional women who fill many technical, creative, and leadership roles in postproduction. SMPTE and HPA worked together to develop the event as a way to reach these women, who have crucial responsibilities and face many challenges.
"This business can be a really great place for women, particularly when they can benefit from the knowledge and support of experienced female professionals excelling in the field," said SMPTE Executive Director Barbara Lange. "Leaders and mentors like Wendy are doing wonderful work to attract more women to the business, and the strong interest in this sold-out event shows how inspiring and valuable the connections among women are for our industry."
During the luncheon, SMPTE President Wendy Aylsworth, senior vice president of technology at Warner Bros. Technical Operations, joined Jacki Morie, CEO of All These Worlds, and Poppy Crum, senior scientist at Dolby Laboratories, in a vibrant discussion about what it takes to be a woman working in the entertainment and media technology industry. Drawing on more than 50 years of collective experience, the three shared their perspectives on being successful in an industry that still lacks women.
"Women are a fundamental part of the media and entertainment technology workforce, and the future will rely on finding the best talent for technical and executive roles," said Eileen Kramer, executive director of HPA. "SMPTE and HPA Women in Post offered a valuable array of insights to women who work, or will be working, in one of the most invigorating, challenging, and rewarding careers in the media and entertainment industry."
A number of important points arose from the event, including the need for focus on creativity and mentorship. Aylsworth spoke of the importance of thinking creatively to attract more women to a business that will continue to need the best and brightest talent, and Morie provided practical ideas for making it happen. Crum emphasized the importance of having a mentor "to encourage you and to allow you to make mistakes" in the process of exploring new ideas and possibilities.