PCMA’s Ascent CEO Promise gathers support for inclusive workplaces, events


The Ascent CEO Promise to create more inclusive workplaces and events will have 100 signatures by the end of May, PCMA President and CEO Sherrif Karamat said today.

More than 50 senior executives have made the commitment since the pledge was unveiled last week at IMEX in Frankfurt by PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association).

Ascent is an initiative by PCMA-Convene to promote inclusion and diversity across the business events industry.

“The momentum tells us that industry leaders understand that there is work to do and that they’re ready to do it,’’ Karamat said. “Greater inclusion will foster new voices to strengthen our leadership, our businesses, and our world.’’

Ascent seeks to empower those challenged by gender, sexual origination, race, ethnicity or disabilities to find success in the industry. And Ascent strives to motivate and educate decision-makers on the business case and best practices for inclusive workplaces and events.

Those who sign the CEO Promise commit to three initial goals:

  1. We will make our workplaces and events open and trusting settings.
  2. We will provide education on barriers to inclusivity, including unconscious bias.
  3. We will share what we know, what we learn, and what needs improvement.

An Ascent Studio at PCMA’s Education Conference, June 10-13, 2018 in Cleveland, will provide two full days of sessions around inclusion and diversity topics. Attendees can participate in sessions such as Remove Implicit Bias to Improve Interactions, Beyond Professionalism: Channelling Vulnerability and more. Conference registration is available at pcmaeducon.org/registration.

To help CEOs fulfill their promise to provide workplace education, PCMA-Convene is developing a series of webinars around unconscious bias that can be used in the workplace. Additional resources will be Education — News and information, best practices, quizzes, video, webinars and face-to-face events; Tools — Training, mentoring, coaching, a curated archive of diverse speakers; and Inspiration — Special stories of challenge and triumph.

Among those who have signed the pledge: Tom Norwalk, President & CEO, Visit Seattle; Isabel Bardinet, CEO European Society of Cardiology; David Peckinpaugh, President, Maritz Global Events; Craig Davis President and CEO, VisitPITTSBURGH and many more. The complete list is available here.

Karamat encourages all industry leaders to visit PCMA.org/promise to sign.

“In the next few months, we will be introducing ways to track our progress,’’ Karamat said. Greater inclusion will foster new voices to strengthen our leadership, our businesses, and our world. By working together, we will cultivate meaningful social change.’’


For media queries from the Americas, APAC, EMEA, and requests for interviews with Sherrif Karamat, please contact:

Meghan Risch, PCMA Chief of Staff, Vice President, Corporate Communications

About PCMA

PCMA educates, inspires, and listens, creating meaningful experiences where passion, purpose and commerce come together. We are the world’s largest community for Business Events Strategists, providing senior-level education, networking, and market intelligence for the global business events industry. Our mission is to drive social and economic progress through business events. Headquartered in Chicago, IL PCMA has 17 North American Chapters, regional communities in APAC, EMEA and LATAM, and members in 59 countries. The Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA), a PCMA subsidiary, advances strategic event marketing and marketing communications for senior-level event marketers and industry professionals. Visit us at pcma.org.

About PCMA Foundation

The role of the Foundation of PCMA is to support the mission of PCMA through fundraising and grant-giving focused on scholarships, education and research that will advance the business events industry. Annually the Foundation funds over $900K in impact, and since 1985 has funded over 2,500 scholarships, 100 research studies and education programs, and $2.7M in charitable giving.

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