Conference News January 2018 - Page 23

23 Cover Story New research provides insights on approaches to securing equal career opportunities for women in events. CN reports from the launch at RIBA of White Paper on Women in Travel, Events & Hospitality omen make up 80% of the intake on event management degrees in the UK and, certainly the meetings and hospitality side of the industry, yet there is a marked bias against females, in C-Suite roles, a new survey claims. The Davis ‘Women on Boards Report’ from 2015 had showed that of UK corporate board members, only 26.1% were women. And an IMEX Women in Leadership project also revealed the importance of diversity in the industry and led to the launch of the first She Means Business conference, taking place on EduMonday, prior to IMEX Frankfurt in 2018. A packed breakfast time audience at RIBA in Portland Place, London, 6 December, heard a panel of events industry women leaders discuss the findings of the new White Paper, Women in Travel, Events & Hospitality. The initiative was led by BCD Meetings & Events’ vice-president Fay Sharpe who presented the report’s results, which included a key headline finding that 70% of female respondents felt that ‘traditional bias’ was a key reason that women are under-represented at senior levels of the industry. Issues around maintaining a work/life balance (42%) and maternity leave (34%) also polled highly, suggesting the industry