SAE, Auckland, 17 February 2016: Where are all the female audio engineers? That’s the question being asked by SAE Creative Media Institute, which is holding its first female-only workshop – ChicMix – at the Auckland campus on Saturday 12 March.
There are few industries in which the gender gap is more obvious than audio engineering, where just five per cent of employees are female.
ChicMix marks the launch of SAE’s campaigns to help redress the gender imbalance. SAE New Zealand Campus manager, Dr Suzette Major, said it would be the first in a series of initiatives by the Institute to highlight a career in audio engineering for New Zealand women.
The one-day workshop aims to demystify the profession and provide hands-on experience in music production and the recording arts, in an all-girl environment.
Dr Major said it would provide an overview of each facet of the sector, including electronic music production, motion picture sound post-production, microphones and recording techniques, mixing and mastering and digital and project mastering.
“The industry is very male-dominated. We will offer women an environment where they feel comfortable learning the basics, asking questions and hearing from women who work in the audio engineering domain,” she said.
Aucklander Mona Sanei (23), ChicMix tutor and freelance audio engineer, said she would like to see more females out in the field. “It can be funny – you can get questioning looks! I was recording Stan Walker’s concert and while I was setting up my gear, someone asked whether I was a groupie.
“At another job, I asked a staff member where the microphones had been moved to, and she told me to ask the sound guy. I told her I was the sound guy.”
Jeremy McPike, studio manager at Roundhead Studios, says he would love to welcome more female audio engineers.
“I would be the first to admit we are emerging from a bit of a ‘boys’ club mentality,” McPike said.
“About 95 per cent of all the sound engineers and music producers who come through my door are male, but there are no physical, social or technical barriers for this to be the case anymore.
“Women sound engineers bring a unique quality to the work they do, so if we shift this balance, it could take music production and sound reproduction to an entirely new place.”
Job prospects for audio engineering graduates are diverse and include recording studio engineer/producer; live sound technician; audio production for theatre, television and film; and all facets of radio.
To enrol for ChicMix, visit auckland.sae.edu or call 09 373 4712
SAE New Zealand offers world-leading government accredited courses in creative media across two discipline streams – audio and film. Internationally, SAE is a leading global educator, operating 54 campuses in 28 countries. Originating as an audio engineering institute in 1976, SAE has evolved to offer world-class qualifications in animation, design, digital journalism, film, games and web & mobile. In 2015, SAE Auckland achieved the highest possible rating in NZQA’s External Evaluation and Review (EER) with a Highly Confident in Educational Performance and Highly Confident in Capability in Self Assessment. SAE is a part of the Navitas group. Further information about SAE is available at www.auckland.sae.edu
Navitas is an Australian global education leader providing pre-university and university programs, English language courses, migrant education and settlement services, creative media education, student recruitment, professional development and corporate training services to more than 80,000 students across a network of over 100 colleges around the world. Navitas is an ASX Top 100 Company. Further information about Navitas is available at www.navitas.com