In 2018, according to Pulse Event Industry Report 2018, in a sampling of 700,000 event professionals, the split in the industry workforce was 59% female & 38% male, transgender 0.60% and 2.40% preferred not to say. But out of the female events workforce, how many are in leadership roles?

We like to think of meetings and events as a developed industry, for which sexism and gender inequality are a thing of the past. The statistics above tell us that there is a 3:2 ratio in favour of women, but we still hear stories of gender inequality across every single level of the business sector... but is this true?

Women now account for 47% of our workforce globally, a greater proportion than ever before. However, statistics imply that men still take up the vast majority of high-profile jobs, with only 6% of executive positions in the FTSE 100 held by women. And at the top of industry and government, the faces remain stubbornly male. In fact, there is some evidence that the numbers of women are actually decreasing. As Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, said: “Women are not making it to the top of any profession in the world.”

Although there are promising prospects for the events industry, the number of women leading today’s top agencies and event management companies, as well as travel and tourism institutions, has increased by 40% in the past 3 years.

Several women-only networking groups have also been formed to assist female progression within the industry. These have been met with a mixed response. Many women business leaders feel it’s counter-productive to exclude (and alienate) male colleagues, since the objective is to achieve greater rather than less cohesion across the gender divide. Others see all-female groups as offering great opportunities to bring together like-minded, inspiring women to provide mentoring and help build a more equal future.

In conclusion, the events industry is leading the way in offering a working environment where all employees are picked for their abilities, experience and attitude, regardless of gender, but women are still struggling to break the glass ceiling and take on senior positions.

Pulse Industry Report in conjunction with Eventbrite is based on more than 700,000 event creators.


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