Challenges Women Face in the Events Industry

(techno music) – I’d like to talk a little bit about you know, what are the current challenges that women face in our industry right now? – There’s always tons of challenges. I think salary negotiation is a big thing. And it’s not necessarily
outward challenges. You know, I’ve been really lucky I haven’t really had any issues with people looking at me differently,
at least within my companies, because I’m a woman or because I’m young. I’ve always been very trusted. I have had people previously, you know, when I was growing up or
clients in a past life or something that used to go over my head when they didn’t need to. But, I think that one of the
things that can be difficult is when you’re starting out
and you are asking for a job. I know this happens with me. I get nervous, I don’t
wanna oversell myself or I don’t wanna ask for too much. And I think that’s one thing women are usually conditioned to be nice and to be easy going about it. But if you don’t hit that one
on the head at the beginning, then there’s gonna be
a wage gap continuing. I think another challenge
is maternity leave. Women who are pushing
through in their careers and doing an amazing job and then they pause
because they have a family and then when they comeback, the people that were
with them at their level have passed them by. And it’s difficult because
you have a five year leave of absence if you were
taking care of your kids or even just like a year or two off or you’re the primary caretaker, so you’re a lot of times going home to take care of that person. Alternatively, people who are
caretakers to elderly parents. That’s the thing where a lot of times it falls on the women to do these things and that means that they’re
leaving the office early or they’re having to take
some unscheduled days. And there’s a lot of groups
out there that are amazing at supporting their employees this way but I think one of the challenge is making that more of a norm, where, you know, it’s okay, we understand that you
have to do this as well if you’re doing your job well. And not having that bias when it comes to promotions or rounding that up. And I think also just a lot of the stuff that you see out there is
geared towards white men. So, it can just be disheartening
I think a little bit when you’re at a organization and all the top level executives are men. Or you’ve never worked for a female boss I think you know, as a young person that can be a little disheartening and you might say “I don’t
know if I wanna be a boss” you know, “How hard do I have to work?” but if you do work for amazing people and especially if you
have amazing role models, that challenge, it makes
it a little bit easier you’ve seen somebody that can do it, you know it can be overcome. So, I think there’s tons of challenges. I think a lot of it at this point is educating organizations as
well as educating people. We want women to feel more comfortable putting themselves out there and championing themselves and others. But also for organizations
to put forth that effort that says, you know, ”
I want you to succeed” – So what can organizations
and leaders in our industry do and men do to support
women and to make a change? Because it’s 2018. – Yeah, exactly, it’s about time. There’s so much that you can do. I think one of the big things
is always providing education. I know Freeman does this, they
had created something called the Freeman Women’s Development
Group within Freeman. Which is really fantastic because it shows that they’re making a
commitment to the women in their organization. To ensure that they learn certain things. You know, if they need some extra time and they wanna take courses
in salary negotiation or if they just want a place to discuss. I think that’s hugely important. I think for men, just in general, I think supporting women, obviously. If you’re ever in a situation where a woman is being talked over or their ideas being
presented by somebody else and they’re getting credit. It means a lot if you just say “Oh, I think this person
wasn’t done speaking” And if you embody that and
you’re somebody that they respect they will follow suit. And people are gonna
learn from your actions. For organizations though, I think a big thing is just
to make themselves aware. And make themselves aware
of the hiring biases, the promotional biases. Make sure that your job applications or your job announcements go out to a large group of people. Make sure that when you
are hiring candidates that you have every
single amazing candidate so that you have representation. Having diverse organizations, actually, studies have shown, many times
over, it makes you better. But also knowing that, there may be times that
it’s important for me to go to a leadership conference so that I can continue working on that because it may not be
inherently obvious to me that I can do what I need to do. Not saying that it’s not for women, ’cause obviously it is. But, just things that can keep
growing everyone’s skills. But again, especially if you are offering like leadership options
to people of color, if you’re offering education to women and to people of color,
that goes above and beyond. I think that is a big
thing that groups can do and associations really just, you know, this industry is all about supporting it. If we can back it and we can support it, then we can see change. – Absolutely. All right– (techno music)

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