Terry King currently works freelance as QEII Live Project Manager. Her long and varied career has given her an expert technical understanding of a variety of AV matters that has made finding work easy but it wasn’t always so plain sailing. Terry talks about the prejudice she faced at the beginning of her career, how she has seen this improve and why she keeps coming back to work at the QEII Centre.
Hi Terry, how long have you worked in events?
Years and years! I started off as a stage manager working in live theatre, then as I went from job to job I moved into management, working with production companies on commercial live events too.
Was it difficult starting out in AV, which was formerly a very male dominated environment?
It was. Starting out I was one of the only females doing what I do. It perhaps helps that my name is ‘Terry’ so when they looked at my CV they probably thought I was a man! My qualifications were strong though, and once I had the interview they had to listen to me!
So did you ever personally experience any prejudice or discrimination?
I’m afraid so. It was very difficult starting out. In theatre, many companies would only hire one women in the technical department just to fill a quota. There was prejudice against women – the assumption was that we were not as competent as men – and so we were only hired in order to appear fair. So yes, it was a challenge but I kept going. Now we are treated much more equally – in events and in theatre – and certainly in management the split is pretty much 50/50. The technical staff division is still more male dominant, but there are certainly many more women in the industry now too.
How long have you worked at the QEII? What do you like about your role as AV Project Manager?
I have worked at the QEII on a freelance basis for 9 years. What I like about the AV team here in particular, is that we are all very different. Each Project Manager, and the technicians too, have different styles and specific skills, and are particularly suited to certain events. What I like about working as a Project Manager is there’s an excitement to the work. It isn’t just corporate work to us, we like adding something different to enhance a client’s event – AV can bring the spark and colour to a presentation, and often ignites it into becoming something quite special. When something works well, we know we’ve added value.
Outside of the QEII and events, what other hobbies do you have?
My first love is still theatre, and I go at least once a month. I also do market research and enjoy reviewing various restaurants. I was an early user of Mac and have run training courses to help people how to use them, especially for print and design. I can’t stand being bored so I am always doing something!
What have you asked to get for Christmas?
I don’t think I have asked for anything – yet. But I am going home to Canada later this month to see my Mum and Dad and to catch up with my Uni friends. It’s party season after all!