Closing the Gender Gap in the Event Industry – Women Supporting Women

Happy International Women’s Day!

group of womenWomen make up a large portion of the event industry. Maybe it’s in our genes? I’m not too sure. What I do know is that our industry has evolved over time. It used to be something people just “fell into.” They didn’t originally start out to be event professionals nor did they intend to become event professionals – but that’s what ended up happening. Some started out as teachers, marketers, stage managers and business managers. Eventually, they realized that what they were really doing the entire time was organizing events!

Fast forward to present day. We now have schools and programs dedicated to making event management a career choice. But, it is still, more often than not, a career people transition into. What may have begun as the best part of their previous job is now their full-time job.

And on this International Women’s Day I want to celebrate women who work in the events industry, and also the women who challenge us. Did you hear the latest news? The NHL made a move that will see an all-women crew behind the controls for today’s game between the Calgary Flames and Vegas Golden Knights. Last week, an all-women crew landed a plane into the Edmonton International Airport. How exciting and it’s about time!

Can you follow their lead and do that for your event? Can we push our support teams to bring more women together? I’ll come call your show or be its technical director – I was, after all, a Broadway stage manager for years! Can we organize an event that is all-women led and then brag about it? It’s possible that we’ve done female-led events in the past but failed to brag about it (because that would be something women ‘would do’ and society frowns upon braggy women)!

But why should we give the NHL all the kudos for something we, as women, should be striving for as well? Why can’t we initiate an all-women led event and receive some applause and recognition too?

But we can, oh we can!

On top of it all, how about we start by making sure that events that are celebrating women are actually being run by women? It only makes sense! I’ve seen a few this month alone that have made me go “hmmmmm… why is that organization leading a women’s event and the first two people on the website are men? Hmmmmm…..” – Just thinking out loud!

International Women’s Day began over a century ago, in 1911, and is celebrated annually around the globe on March 8. This important day celebrates all women, bringing them together in unity, reflection, advocacy and action. It’s a day where we put out a call to action with the purpose to move toward gender parity. With this in mind, I want to help progress this movement and bring women event planners to the forefront. I want women to take the lead at events and be able to brag about it! I want women to run the show, so to speak!

I understand that there is still a huge gap when it comes to gender equality. But I also truly believe in the power of women and the tenacity that we have to challenge society and show the world what we are capable of – and should that not begin with events meant to celebrate us?

Today, on International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate each other and dedicate 2020 to be the year that we push for more women on our teams. If we ask for it and support it, we can make it happen!