Tag Archives: Women in CE

Andrea Smith Women in CE Award

Women in CE 2015 Legacy Awards


Those of you who know me know I began my career as a newswriter and producer at ABC News in the early 80’s and started covering the world of technology sometime in 1994. At that time there very few women in tech, not journalists and certainly not the decision-makers at the tech companies I was interviewing.

Back then, mentoring and “leaning in” was not a trend. There were no women to turn to to ask advice, to help with connections or to propel you forward. This was a journey I made myself, digging in each and every day and trying to prove to people I could do the job.

There were times I was the only woman on a panel of tech journalists, and certainly the only one in the ladies room at tech conferences. That’s why the Women in CE organization is so important to me.

Founded by the amazing Carol Campbell; it lets me give back. There’s not always time for talking with people and sharing my experiences in journalism and what led me on my career path but the Women in CE conference every June spearheaded by Carol is the one event I always make time for.

Women in CE is focused on empowering women, building networks and supporting career opportunities across the breadth of the consumer electronics industry. There are tools and resources for members to interact, exchange ideas, educate, and empower each other.

I have been on panels about mentoring, conducted social media makeovers for women looking to get ahead, and chatted with women who had simple questions or needed a sounding board. My favorite piece of advice that I’ve shared over the years came from my husband, not another women who was helping in my career. He taught me to “proceed until apprehended.” In other words, stop asking for permission to do something and just do it. It’s the best piece of advice I ever got and he reminds me of that mantra to this day.

This year I was both honored and privileged to receive a Women in CE Legacy Award at an event at CES 2015. To be recognized by my peers – a group of women – is an accomplishment I am deeply proud of.

As I said at the event, I’m happy to wait in line for the ladies room at CES. It’s simply another way of sharing the space with a group of smart, talented, professional women.
Eternal thanks to Carol Campbell for all she does for so many people.

Below is a video overview of the event in Las Vegas.

Women in CE-Take Risks, Proceed Until Apprehended!


During CE week last month, I had the opportunity to join some incredibly accomplished women in a career-enhancing discussion, much of it focusing on being a woman in a male-dominated industry. However, panel moderator extraordinaire Cathie Black spent much of her keynote speaking about taking risks and rising to challenges, so of course she began by asking about my recent decision to leave my job at ABC News for a new position at Mashable.

You can read about the panel here: http://www.dealerscope.com/article/rising-top-women-ce-style-25033984/1 or pasted below, but suffice it to say it was engaging discussion prompting lots of audience questions. Wish we could have kept going!

Rising to the Top: Women in CE Style

Panel Answers Burning Career Questions

June 27, 2012By Stephanie Adamow

The first Women in CE career-enhancement forum comprised of several presentations and panel programs illustrating keys to success for females in this industry. One of these panels focused on “Insights on Success: An Exploration on Rising to the Top.”

The panel, moderated by the day’s keynote speaker, Cathie Black, former chairwoman and president of Hearst Magazines andNew York Times best-selling author of “Basic Black: The Essential Guide to Getting Ahead at Work (And in Life),” included Sandra Benedetto , director of Field Engineering for THX Media Director technology at THX Ltd.; Karen Chupka , senior VP of Events and Conferences at the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA); Andrea Smith , channel editor, Mashable Lifestyle; and Kristine Welker , VP, chief revenue officer for Hearst Digital Media.

Black directed career questions to the panel, beginning with the topic of risk-taking, specifically asking is taking risks scary? Stupid?

Andrea Smith was the obvious first respondent, having recently left a 25-year career at ABC to join Mashable. “It’s scary, stupid, smart, challenging—all of it! No matter how fulfilling and challenging your current position may be, when something comes along that pokes at your passion, you have to take the risk. There may not be another opportunity.”

Hearst’s Welker also jumped ship from print to digital media at the company. “It was a scary decision,” she admitted. “There were people who told me I was crazy, but there were people who said that I could build my career and the company’s brands.

“It took me six months to realize that I didn’t know digital at all, but I am learning every day.”

When asked what being in the CE industry had taught her, THX’s Benedetto responded that she had found supportive men, even though as a woman she felt the need to prove herself.

“It does help to cultivate alliances with men and women in the CE industry,” Benedetto said.

“Women may stand out in this industry,” added CEA’s Chupka, “but that’s a good thing.”

Is it exciting to be in the CE industry? Would you recommend it to a young college grad?

“I would absolutely encourage a young woman to join,” said Benedetto. “It is an exciting time; we have a lot to offer the industry. We offer purchasing power but also what we need—our perspective is vital to this industry.”

“I have fallen in love with tech,” added Welker. “There is great opportunity for women. We are online more, we are the consumers, we have the ability to come up with new perspectives. We have become comfortable with being uncomfortable—to be ok with being the only woman. We are the early adopters of blogs, social media, mobile—a ton of opportunities there.”

One of the most resonating themes that pervaded the day came from Smith when asked about the most important lesson she’s learned. “Proceed until apprehended,” she said, meaning that she opened many doors for herself ABC by doing things she was interested in until someone told her to stop, which they never did. Smith admits it was her husband who gave her the advice, foreshadowing a topic that would come up later in the day’s program—how thinking like a man in your career can be beneficial.