I am SO grateful for all the amazing women in my life. During these times of setting up a new business and general life challenges, the women (and some men!) in my life offer my motivation, inspiration, friendship, support and so much more. It is nice to reflect on the global community of friends championing a better world for us all! Thank you to all of you for ALL of you. (You know who you are J)
This week holds International Women’s Day, March 8th https://www.internationalwomensday.com and I wanted to use this blog to share that, over recent weeks, I have read some social media posts from men, directly and indirectly slating these type of programmes and initiatives.
Whether you agree or disagree, we all need to recognise that business success comes down to balance and diversity and the meetings and event industry needs to step up to the mark and work together to develop talent from a broad church of backgrounds to grow and develop as a sector.
#balanceforbetter is the campaign led by the IWD team this year and this really is something that we should all be guiding our businesses, our HR divisions and our leaders toward.
Whilst I recognise and applaud any initiative that develops talent, provides mentoring and encourages the development of more female leaders in this wonderful industry, it concerns me that we are not coming together to address a fundamental gap within organisations. How many times do we see a truly ethnically diverse events community? How many businesses actively promote meetings and events actively dealing with issues such as accessibility and overcoming mental or physical disabilities? We should be bringing this discussion to every association conference, online event community discussions and industry media channels.
Let’s change the conversation that tells us our industry is made up of 80% women. Unless you live under a rock, you know this. We need to address all round talent development across our businesses. We have a serious problem addressing the skills shortages and needs of our ever-changing events landscape and we need to change this now. Together.
We need to address leadership and how we encourage and nurture talent into leadership roles, coach organisations in sustainable, flexible working practices and lastly, look wider when it comes to recruitment.
Many roles in this industry need impeccable human skills that simply can’t be “taught”. Passion, common sense, ability to work under pressure, integrity and problem-solving skills are in certain humans, irrespective of their gender, sexual orientation, race, mental or physical health condition.
I challenge every reader to look at their association, organisation and community and make a change that encourages diversity, embraces #balanceforbetter and looks to a future where we don’t need to highlight these issues. Why not share initiatives that you know are working towards this?