Control systems programmer for Boston-based Riordan Brothers, a family-owned electronics design and installation company that specializes in home audio, video, communications, lighting and security systems, Hope Roth, CTS®, is a vocal supporter and champion of women in technology. Her work puts her among a select group of women at the leading edge of AV technology. Roth’s inspirational talk at InfoComm's 2015s WIN Breakfast was a highlight for many who attended the networking event.
"It was a great opportunity for me to get up and hear my voice and be in a room with so many impressive women" she says. "Several of the younger women came up to me and said they were inspired by what I said in my talk, and now some of them are working toward certification and I’ve been able to put them in touch with some of my contacts."
Roth has a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and worked in IT at Tufts University after graduating from college, which is where she got the AV bug. "I learned everything I could about AV and got to the point where I was fixing everything on campus myself." She then took her skills to the commercial world, working in systems installation for three years before learning programming and landing her current job at Riordan Brothers in early 2015. With the CTS certification under her belt, she is now studying for her CTS-I, as well as co-leading the WIN CTS study group (with Pivot Communication’s Christa Bender, CTS).
"I was going to start studying for the CTS-D and someone suggested that I qualified for the CTS-I and that there’s not a lot of women that have that certification," says Roth. "Actually, Chuck (Espinoza, CTS-D, CTS-I, former chair of AVIXA's Certification Committee and a current AVIXA instructor) said I should get the CTS-I because it's badass!"
The purpose of the study group, according to Roth, is to get more women certified and encourage them to move up in the industry. "Some people assume that women are in marketing roles or project management, and that they don’t know the technical aspects, and that’s not usually the case. So part of the effort to get CTS certified is to get women to show that they have that technical knowledge and, hopefully, get people to talk to them on a higher level."
Connecting with her peers through the WIN Council and meeting face to face with so many inspirational women at the Women’s Breakfast has been invaluable on several levels for Roth, from meeting women who blazed a trail for her and others, to being able to advise younger women coming up in the industry.
"It is great to see everyone working together, looking out for each other and helping each other out. We’ve come a long way in the 10 years I’ve been in the industry," she says. "Yes, it’s still mostly men, but it is amazing to see how many more women there are now and to see how the industry has evolved."