Mentoring – Women In AV

Hi, I’m Hayley Siklodi

I’m the Internal Account Manager at Dalen for the south and east of England and I have been with the company for 10 months.

Being Mentored at Dalen, TOP-TEC

Being a mentee has given me a wider breadth of additional knowledge and skills in areas such as time management, and enhanced technical understanding. This has increased my confidence and has empowered me to own my work and embrace the struggles rather than be afraid to make mistakes, because the reality is that you learn from those mistakes. I’ve also found it valuable talking to my colleagues about their experiences in their roles. As well, its been useful getting their advice when I have needed it. They have helped to guide me in my journey, and always offer me support.

On the other side of the coin, I have had the opportunity to mentor one of our newer colleagues who joined 4 months, after myself. Both of us went through the same application process to gain positions within Dalen. So, we bonded from the get-go. Not only do I share the knowledge I have gained, but she will always support me on things that she has mastered before me. I think that gives us both a confidence boost and a sense of fulfilment.

As well as my peers being eager to take an active role in my professional development, my managers have always been keen to do so. I have been on three different training courses to date, such as sales excellence. I also have two more courses coming up over the next few months. My managers also partake in regular one-to-one sessions in product training and personal development, as well as quarterly performance reviews in which we discus my strengths and achievements, to help me improve on my weaker areas. In a male dominated industry, it is important to feel supported and to make sure you get what you need from your peers and your managers, male or female, so that you can strive to be the best you can be in your job role.

I feel that Dalen utilises the experiences of its employees to enhance the development of its newer employees. As I said, myself and my colleague who started just after me have been ‘buddied’ together to not only support each other, but to support our personal progression. We also do a lot of brainstorming in the office when one of us has needed support. For example, on cold-calling techniques or advice on how to manage time and juggle workload, everyone gets together to help and share ideas.

How does this support women in the industry?

Because women are fighting to have their voice heard in the AV industry, I feel it helps greatly towards the cause of gender equality when the work environment is as supportive as possible. The more women who talk about their experiences, the more women feel they can join in and the movement gains more traction. At Dalen, I feel supported by both male and female colleagues. Everyone is so willing to share their knowledge and experiences to help others out and you couldn’t ask for much more than that.


Women in AV establishes a multi-faceted approach to educating, supporting, encouraging and inspiring women in the audiovisual industry through collaboration, research, mentoring and networking opportunities. The Women in AV Group promote the growth and performance of women by empowering women to feel recognised, respected, productive and important to the AV industry. For more info, events and support you can visit WAVE’s website here.