Scores of women working across the exhibition industry attended the launch of Women in Exhibitions, UK Chapter at International Confex on 25 February.
The new group, already operating in key countries in Europe, promises to address the balance of women and men in senior positions across the industry as well as offer support and advice to women wanting to develop their careers.
The group is headed up by Montgomery, portfolio director, Soraya Gadelrab who stressed: “The vision of the Network is to empower women in the industry to further their careers in exhibitions and the Network is created to facilitate networking and to raise the profile of women whilst working with successful role models to inspire and nurture the next generation of female leaders.
“We want to share knowledge, learnings and best practice with industry peers, become role models for junior members of the industry and promote the exhibition industry to a wider audience. This is the launch of the UK Chapter and each national network will have their own objectives. This network is for the industry and should be led by what they want so we’ll be asking people what they want to get out of it so we can tailor the network to their needs.”
EN editor Saul Leese told onlookers: “Only 6.9 per cent of CEOs in Europe are women. This is an embarrassment and a major issue that needs to be tackled. Men need to understand that not only do women have different drivers but they also need to recognise that they are as good as men. Women need shout more about their achievements in the exhibition industry like men do.”
EN has pledged to continue the fight alongside Women in Exhibition Network by covering more successful women but also speaking to younger professionals starting their career journey.
Leese adds: “It’s no use just talking to women that have made it already, although we can of course learn a lot from their experiences. What EN needs to do is talk to fledglings and follow their journey and obstacles, so we get a real sense of what’s happening in our industry.”