On March 8, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated around the world, highlighting the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. IWD has been celebrated for over a century, with the first IWD gathering taking place in 1911, supported by more than 1 million people. This year’s IWD #EmbraceEquity theme seeks to help forge worldwide conversation about this important issue and its impact on women globally. Learn more about the history of IWD.
International Women’s Day also offers a wonderful opportunity to highlight women who are making their mark and forging rewarding careers in the traditionally male-dominated broadcast industry. Our company will be featuring several women at NEP who are doing just that – today and throughout the month of March – beginning with Leigth Mitcheltree, General Manager of NEP Sweetwater, an NEP Live Events Company and a premier supplier of video display solutions.
Leigth joined NEP Sweetwater 17 years ago as one of the company’s first few employees. She started as a coordinator of two individuals, herself included, and then worked in the labor, finance and billing departments, contributing to whatever needed to be done to drive the company forward. As NEP Sweetwater grew over the years – expanding from 5 to 75 employees – her career grew along with it. Having enjoyed the logistics, problem solving and hands-on aspects of the job, she naturally gravitated toward operations.
“I love getting in there and making shows happen. It’s a live event, something’s going to go wrong – how do you fix it?”
When Leigth joined Sweetwater, she would often be the only woman working on an entire production. Now, she is proud to say, there are a dozen women working in the shop and in a variety of roles, including as engineers. Her promotion to general manager in 2022 has been a further encouragement to women in the business, reinforcing the belief that they, too, can hold positions of authority and respect, and that their voices and needs are being recognized and echoed in management, she says. Leigth also sits on NEP’s Diversity & Inclusion committee and believes her outreach in that role is having a tangible, positive effect.
“When the announcement came about the promotion to general manager, several women in the company reached out to me and they said, ‘oh my gosh this is huge for us.’ They feel their voices being heard when they see someone that’s achieved something in their career path. I hope that trend continues.”
Watch this video of Leigth as she talks about her career journey.