Introduction from CHS
We are delighted that Nyomi Rose, whatnyomidoes and Íse Murphy-Morris, International Safe Events will be joining us at CHS Leeds this month to deliver a session which tackles the issues of gender stereotypes and biases head on. Attendees at CHS Leeds can expect a thoughtful and inspiring discussion on how to break down stigmas and empower women in the event industry. In this week’s blog, Nyomi and Íse set the scene for their session, ior attendees of CHS Leeds this one is not to be missed!
Breaking Down Stigmas: Women in the Workplace
There are many reasons we love the events industry. It is an industry that brings joy and wonder to both the audience and the professionals. Most of us work in it because we are passionate about what we create. However, most of us are also pretty exhausted. Not only that, many of us feel we are out of balance – working long hours with little rest, working hard for little pay, and missing out on opportunities and recognition because of how we look. The industry is out of balance and we must make change now, for the health and benefit of all of us. We all deserve to be recognised and respected where we work, to have appropriate downtime, and to be appropriately paid for the work we do. We deserve to work in an industry that supports, nurtures and celebrates who we are and what we do.
Words from Íse..
I have worked in an industry I love for over fifteen years and have had some wonderful experiences and very low moments. Those moments came when I could not understand why I was not progressing in my career, why I felt I was not being recognised or listened to and why I had to work twice as hard, smile more and behave unlike myself in order to succeed. As an industry founded on the shoulders of women, I could not understand why I saw production offices packed with women furiously working hard yet the event directors or owners were usually always men.
Why weren’t we progressing into positions of senior leadership? I’ve been called ‘girl’ too often to count. I have been talked over in meetings, completely ignored when I presented solutions to problems, only for those solutions to be suggested by men and then taken seriously. I have worked for 24 hours straight in the lead up to an event, on tasks that were completely avoidable if boundaries had been set with the client. I have worked events without even knowing what I was getting paid and have managed entire festival zones for less than minimum wage. I accepted these situations as I was trying to build my career but all it has done is allowed for unbalanced and unacceptable treatment to continue. As I grew older, I began to learn that I matter and that no one else was going to care for my health and wellbeing if I didn’t. I realised the only way this industry could change was if I asserted boundaries, demonstrated self respect, and inspired others to do the same, the industry would have no choice but to change.
This is why Nyomi and I started Meliorem Eventus, because the solution to this crisis is in us.
Words from Nyomi Rose…
As a young woman who has been working in the events industry for several years, I have encountered numerous instances of discrimination due to my gender and age. Despite the fact that I am a skilled and experienced professional, I feel like I have had to work twice as hard to prove myself and earn the respect and that is not even with any other intersectionalities involved such as race, religion or sexuality.
One of the most common issues I have faced is the perception that young women are not capable of running their own businesses. I have had conversations with exhibitors and individuals at networking and business events in the events industry who express surprise that I am the owner of my company, assuming that I must be working for someone else or simply ‘just a student’.
Unfortunately, these experiences are all too common for women in the events industry. Despite the fact that women make up 60% of the events industry but when you delve into the statistics further less than 10% of women have leadership positions in the events industry. This is a problem that needs to be addressed if we want to create a more equitable and inclusive industry.
In order to support women in the workplace and events industry, we need to start by acknowledging the value and contribution of women. This means actively seeking out and promoting women for leadership positions, providing opportunities for professional development and mentorship, and fostering a culture of respect and inclusivity in the workplace and the wider industry.
But we also need to share conversations and that is what Ise and I do! After connecting online over shared experiences in the events industry this how our friendship formed and we launched Meliorem Eventus with a passion for bringing balance into this beautifully chaotic industry, we knew we had to do something about it.
So please come along to CHS Leeds, as we will be hosting a session specifically designed to address the issues faced by women in the events industry and how all genders can be allies to drive for equality and change. This session will share strategies for overcoming these challenges and creating a more inclusive industry.
If you are a woman working in the events industry, I would encourage you to join us at CHS Leeds. We want to encourage everyone to join us so together, we can work to create a more equitable and supportive workplace for women in the events industry.