The “Advancing Women in Business Events” study was conducted in 2023 by Business Events Sydney (BESydney) and PCMA, the world’s largest association for business events strategists.
The study set out to explore the pronounced gender gap in the global business events industry and recommend action to provide opportunities for women in leadership positions, specifically in C-suite and board roles.
Despite three-quarters of the worldwide events industry being female, males dominate at C-suite, CEO and board levels.
The study’s report identifies the industry’s workforce largely does not believe its leadership is diverse; they don’t see clear career pathways to leadership positions; and most workers have insufficient access to career advancement support and development opportunities.
“This report draws a clear line in the sand,” says BESydney CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith.
“BESydney has long been an advocate for gender parity in our industry. We cannot innovate, grow and build resilience as a sector unless we are tapping into the full capacity of our global workforce.
“Whether it be gender, ability, race, age or any number of other factors, it is crucial our sector challenges the prevailing status quo and embraces diversity in all its guises.”
The findings report, released in early January 2024, will be followed by a second report in late January with recommended actions for change.
“The business events industry is the ideal platform to demonstrate the value women make every day, and we need to lead by example,” says PCMA president and CEO Sherrif Karamat.
“Inclusivity and equity are not just the right thing to do – it leads to greater profitability, successful organisations and a just society.”