She Means Business at IMEX

She Means Business at IMEX

This Just In

A new conference taking place during EduMonday, 14 May, at this year’s IMEX in Frankfurt will celebrate the role of women in the meetings business. She Means Business will feature a programme for both women and men to learn from the experiences and opinions of inspirational and accomplished women.

According to ‘Women in the Meetings and Event Industry – equal partner or assistant?’, a research survey that also led to the creation of She Means Business, only four in 10 women in the events industry believes their career prospects are identical to their male colleagues. Nearly 1,000 women participated in the survey, conducted by tw tagungswirtschaft magazine and m+a report, 70% of whom are based in Europe. More than 59% of respondents believe that career breaks due to maternity leave are the greatest handicap to career progress and 79% of events industry women would like a platform to meet and discuss issues such as diversity and gender equality.

“If you look at the Top 10 agencies, you have 80% women and 20% men. Men are always in senior management,” commented one respondent.

“We were overwhelmed by the participation of all the women and we felt that we had a job to do,” said Kerstin Wünsch, tw tagungswirtschaft editor-in-chief. “Some of us talk about a movement that we started, and everybody (men and women) is welcome to join in,” Wünsch said, speaking about partnering with IMEX on the She Means Business conference. “We believe that the sharing of experiences and opinions is the most powerful way for women to talk to each other and to men, to encourage working together to achieve diversity and gender equality. ”

Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group, said that the new conference comes “at a crucial juncture in society – we’ve reached a turning point where these issues have come to the fore. The next step now is to decide how to move forward. She Means Business will provide a platform for forward-thinking women — and men — to come together and take action.”

During the conference’s “Women in Space” opening keynote session, Major Nicola Baumann, one of Germany’s only female Eurofighter pilots, and Laura Winterling, a former astronaut instructor and CEO of Space Time Concepts GmbH, will talk openly about their successes and failures and the importance of challenging yourself to achieve ambitious goals.

During the day, female business leaders from tech, finance, and the United Nations will share their personal perspectives on issues including empowering women in the workplace, eradicating the gender pay gap, and increasing leadership positions held by women.

Chairwoman of the UN Women National Committee, Germany, Karin Nordmeyer will explore the UN’s Women’s Empowerment Principles — a set of guidelines for businesses on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace, and community — in her session, part of the Women in Business strand.

Reducing the gender pay gap will be covered by Dr. Mara Harvey, Head Global UHNW Germany, Austria, Italy at UBS. Encouraging women into leadership positions and counteracting gender bias are among the other topics to be addressed by speakers,  including director of global employer branding at SAP, Suzanna Labonde, and European Association of Cardiology CEO Isabel Bardinet.

She Means Business will be moderated by award-winning reporter, producer, and presenter, Talia Sanhewe, whose experience includes work with the World Economic Forum, CNBC, and the BBC World Service. “She Means Business is perfectly timed,” Sanhewe said. “Never before has the power, position, and purpose of women been more important than it is today.”

She Means Business rounds off with “Women in the meetings industry — on eye level with men?,” a panel discussion moderated by PCMA President & CEO Sheriff Karamat. In-depth roundtable discussions and networking will follow.


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