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GUEST EDITOR

23 Feb 2024

Fostering Inclusivity In Events

Fostering Inclusivity In Events

This month’s guest editor is Laura Tavernor, Associate VP, Marketing & Communications at dmg events, and Women in Exhibitions UK Chapter Secretary – PR, Marketing Communications. As we approach International Women’s Day, Laura discusses how we can foster an inclusive workplace culture in events and looks at the benefits of gender inclusivity in leadership.  

International Women’s Day is just around the corner, and this year’s theme is to #InspireInclusion.   

As a board member for the Women in Exhibitions UK Chapter, the theme got me thinking on how we can have a positive impact on the narrative around gender bias and inspire equality and inclusion in our workplaces. By fostering an inclusive workplace culture, and addressing unconscious bias in our conversations or interactions we can continually inspire change.   

An inclusive workplace fundamentally makes for a happier place to work, where people are more likely to be their authentic selves, and in turn be part of a company or organisation that pleases their customers – whomever they are!  Unlike sectors such as technology, the exhibition and events sector has no problem with attracting women to the workforce. But the high level of women entering the sector is not reflected in leadership positions.  

Women make up the majority of the UK's event and exhibitions workforce – estimated at around 80 per cent in entry level positions. Yet, women hold approximately just 20 per cent of board positions. The UK chapter of Women in Exhibitions aims to promote fairness, equity, and diversity in the industry by preparing women for leadership roles through upskilling, networking, mentoring, and support.  We offer these services to our member companies to enable them to address the challenge of gender diversity, pave the way for women in the industry, and ensure change starts now.  

 As people who work in events, we know that the best events and teams - with the best themes, programmes, marketing, and parties! – are the ones that appeal to ALL people.  By increasing gender diversity in leadership, research tells us that the sector will benefit from a more diverse pool of perspectives, skills, and experiences – this will be better for society, our audiences, and for business.  

WHAT I'VE TAKEN NOTE OF

Glastonbury festival, and the lack of female headliners in recent years! Will there be a more inclusive and diverse line up in 2024?

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