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Full report on advancing women in business events released

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Full report on advancing women in business events released
BESydney and industry association PCMA have released the full report to help address the huge gender gap in the sector’s leadership, after offering a part-one teaser in January.

As identified in the first part of the report, while women make up the vast majority of the business events industry, they only comprise a small minority of those in leadership positions in business events companies and organisations.

While women make up 42 per cent of the workforce across all sectors globally, they fill 32 per cent of leadership roles. However, in business events, this gap is significantly wider, with women making up 77 per cent of the industry workforce but just 16 per cent of its leadership.

With the first part of the report identifying barriers for women to take up leadership roles, the full report reveals the actions which can be taken to close the gender gap in industry leadership.

As with the barriers, the actions are broken down into personal, organisational and societal.

On a personal level, the report asserts women need to address their own self-limiting beliefs – from reluctance to claim achievements through to expecting others to acknowledge contributions and not cultivating allies within an organisation. Other personal actions included finding a mentor, improving negotiation skills and personally helping to drive change within your own organisation.

Actions on an organisational level including getting buy-in from senior staff to address the gender disparity, creating a flexible and female friendly working environment, bearing in mind women often still take on the majority of family caring, reducing unconscious bias in recruitment and across organisations, incorporating diversity, equity and inclusion training into existing training, regularly assessing career pathways, achieving equal pay, offering women coaching to address gender-specific barriers and implementing a framework of actions to advance women in the industry.

On an industry-wide and societal level, the report recommends establishing a steering committee to improve all forms of diversity across the industry, creating formal mentoring programs for women, supporting women-owned businesses in the industry, creating more out-of-industry networking opportunities and looking at other industries to see what has worked to address gender gaps and replicating it in the business events sector.

“Gender equity in leadership is not a problem unique to our industry, but the steps we can take to shift the dial are,” said BESydney CEO, Lyn Lewis-Smith.

“Everyone in our ecosystem has a role to play, from the individual, to employers, and as an industry as a whole. Our clients expect us to walk the talk. It is important industry leaders lead the change now that ESG and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion have moved from a ‘nice to have’ to a business imperative.”

The detailed report can be downloaded from the PCMA website.

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