The Society of Women in TeCHnology (SWITCH) held its inaugural session Tuesday night (3/9) at the NYU Music Technology Program’s new facility within the Steinhardt School’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions.
A panel comprising music and technology educators, artists, innovators and trailblazers discussed challenges and opportunities for established and up-and-coming female audio and technology professionals.
The esteemed panelists included: Associate Director of the Music Technology Program at NYU, Agnieszka Roginska, Sound-Artist/Improviser-Composer Dafna Naphtali, composer/sound designer Isabel Diaz-Cassou, composer/musician Svjetlana Bukvich-Nichols, multi-format artist extraordinaire, Phoebe Legere, composer/sound designer and audio engineer, Laura Sinnott, and composer and technologist, Michele Darling.
The educators in the room noted with enthusiasm how positive just assembling can be for female students and women in the audio technology industry, many of whom may feel isolated in classrooms and in the workforce.
“Statistics show that women make up only 27% of the technology or engineering fields, and 40% of those drop out after two years,” noted Roginska. “And these numbers haven’t changed from statistics reported 30 years ago.”
A lively discussion ensued, tracing the esteemed panelists’ histories to first sparks — when did they know they wanted to pursue careers in electronic music performance, programming, film scoring, sound design and sonic invention? What were the challenges and the career paths? How can young women be empowered and encouraged to explore technology and music production? Undergrads and pro’s in the audience chimed in. A movement was born.
The Society of Women In TeCHnology (SWITCH) is a student run club for women technology students at NYU, both graduate and undergraduate. SWITCH empowers women to succeed in technology related fields, be it academic or professional, with an emphasis on music technology and the industry and arts professions. SWITCH is made up of engineers, scientists, artists, musicians, educators and music industry professionals who strive to inspire and learn from one and other. Through SWITCH, women are given an opportunity to network, collaborate, and share ideas.
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