Women in Exhibitions panel: achieving balance in the board room

creative team

creative team

Published on 28 May 2020

Women in Exhibitions and EN supporting Global Exhibitions Day

The Women in Exhibitions network are to discuss how the current Covid-19 crisis presents an opportunity to tackle imbalances in an online session, 3 June. As part of Global Exhibitions Day 2020, EN editor Saul Leese will host the discussion with some of the international exhibition industry’s most prominent female leaders. Panelists include Soraya Gadelrab, portfolio director at Montgomery Events, Oana Cipca, business development manager at MECC Maastricht, Claire Washington-Smith, chairman and founder at Shinesmith, Juliane Jähnke, owner at Agendum Schmitt & Jaehnke Partners, Victoria James, event director at Bett MEA, Hyve Group, and Kirstin Deutelmoser, director partner and guest events at Messe Düsseldorf GmbH.

Among other topics, the panel will address the lack of women in C-Level roles, question why that might be, and what positive action can be taken to overcome these obstacles to achieve balance. The Women in Exhibitions Network, which has existing chapters in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, launched its UK Chapter at International Confex on 25 February 2020.

The first Women in Exhibitions Network was set up in 2018 by Oana Cipca and in 2020, together with Soraya Gadelrab they launched the UK Chapter; the network’s mission is to empower women in the industry while helping to nurture the next generation of female leaders and to support their continued professional development, as well as to provide opportunities for them to meet and network.

Gadelrab said: “It is important for Women in Exhibitions to connect with its growing membership, especially during the Covid-19 crisis.“The series of online events we are planning to host will help shape the future of the exhibitions industry, and to give women the confidence and encouragement they need to succeed.

“The Covid-19 crisis is an opportunity for the exhibitions industry to reboot itself in many ways and inspiring more women to take that step into a C-Level position is an achievable objective.”

EN editor Saul Leese expressed his pride at being asked to moderate the session, and pointed towards a more positive future. He said: “This is a great opportunity to bring into sharp focus the fact that there are not enough women in positions of leadership in the exhibitions industry. This is not a campaign to be antagonistic, but to bring the industry into balance, and to grow with strength for the 21st Century.

“With such an international panel, and as part of Global Exhibitions Day 2020, I think there is a lot we in the UK can learn from those working in the exhibitions industry across Europe and beyond. As with anything, collaboration is key to driving positive change.”

Women in Exhibitions will be running further online events, details of which will be released in due course.

Event Details:

Event: Women in Exhibitions Sessions, Supporting Global Exhibitions Day

Date: 3 June 2020; 2pm (BST), 3pm (CET)

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