BESydney and PCMA report says more can be done to advance women into leadership roles

PCMA's Sherrif Karamat and BESydney's Lyn Lewis-Smith.

A new two-part global report has been released focusing on the advancement of women in the industry, specifically the gender disparity in leadership, despite being a female-dominated field.

Business Events Sydney (BESydney) and the PCMA Foundation’s final report of Advancing Women In Business Events quantifies the representation of female leaders in the business events industry relative to the global workforce and explores possible reasons why there are so few in the C-suite and at the Board level.

The recommended actions to remove barriers and accelerate the advancement of women include organisations offering tailored coaching and promoting inclusive leadership development. Industry-wide recommendations include establishing a cross-industry steering committee and creating a women’s mentorship program.

“Gender equity in leadership is not a problem unique to our industry, but the steps we can take to shift the dial are,” said Lyn Lewis-Smith, BESydney’s CEO.

“Everyone in our ecosystem has a role to play, from the individual, to employers, and as an industry as a whole. Our clients expect us to walk the talk. It is important industry leaders lead the change now that ESG and Diversity Equity and Inclusion have moved from a ‘nice to have’ to a business imperative.”

Sherrif Karamat, PCMA president and CEO, said the industry “must be held accountable”.

“The global business events industry has an opportunity to be bold, challenge the status quo and set forth a vision that eliminates barriers,” he said.

“While much is being done to support women as a result of DEI across all underrepresented groups, our industry can dismantle unnecessary obstacles to help women advance into leadership roles.”

The study will be conducted every two years to benchmark and track progress.