Women’s Leadership in Business Events: A Roadmap


After releasing in January the first part of a research-based analysis that’s especially important for…

After releasing in January the first part of a research-based analysis that’s especially important for an industry dominated by women, the Professional Convention Management Association Foundation and Business Events Sydney have now released the final part of their “Advancing Women in Business Events” report.

The study initiative for the report consisted of two think tanks that gathered perspectives from 20 female and male executives in different U.S. cities plus one online think tank with 10 Asia-Pacific executives; six one-hour interviews with female executives; and a survey of 438 female event planners around the world, more than 86 percent of whom have more than five years of industry experience.

Whereas part one of the analysis provided numbers showing the lack of women occupying leadership roles in event-planning departments (read the specifics here), the just-released second part delivers advice on how women can rise through the ranks, from planner to manager to executive.

The report breaks up its guidance for women into three areas: personal, organizational, and societal/industry-wide. Among the personal steps recommended by the report are:

• Break habits that hold yourself back from advancement, including reluctance to acknowledge your contributions to success and failing to enlist allies and keep those relationships active.

• Find an internal or external mentor to provide guidance and advice for challenges related to day-to-day work as well as mid-term and long-term plans for professional growth.

• Enhance personal-negotiation skills through educational sessions as well as conversations in social-media forums, to achieve pay equity.

• Proactively communicate the importance and benefits of a more-inclusive vision to executives beyond the human-resources team.

To read the advice for business-event planners on how to drive women’s progress throughout their organization and elsewhere—including identifying potential female leaders inside and outside your organization for allyship and mentorship opportunities—click here to download the full report.

In addition, read these four profiles of women in the business-events industry who successfully climbed the ladder from planner to executive.

• The Path to Executive: Grab the Stretch Assignment (and a Mentor)

The Path to Executive: Understanding People and Possibilities

The Path to Executive: Japan as a Proving Ground

• The Path to Executive: Working with an Outcomes Mindset


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