The industry is 70 per cent women-powered, but only 20 per cent women-led, meaning that more work around equality of opportunity is needed. Carina Bauer, CEO of the Imex Group, shares the guiding principle of She Means Business, a series of learning sessions dedicated to diversity, gender equality and female empowerment at Imex Frankfurt.

She Means Business: a conversation for all, is delivered by Imex and TW Tagungswirtschaft and supported by MPI. It invites women and men from across the global events sector to share their views, experiences and current diversity and gender equality challenges. The programme begins Tuesday, May 23, with a practical guide on the role of women in helping to achieve net zero by 2050.

In Road to net zero: Women as Change-makers (supported by CCH Hamburg), speakers, including Kathleen Warden from the Scottish Events Campus (SEC), host venue of COP26, will discuss the Net Zero Carbon Events Initiative and the role of women in powering sustainable business.

Sessions throughout the three days of the show cover future skillsets, building connections and mentoring practices that best support women’s career development. Other highlights include:

  • With the potential to generate up to $5 trillion in value by 2030, the metaverse is not a space to be ignored. In the metaverse – a man’s world? Christopher Werth from VOK DAMS Events and Sabine Reise from Allseated share how to take the first steps into this multi-dimensional world and why this environment appeals to women.
  • Challenges around gender parity persist according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2022 of the World Economic Forum, which states it will take 132 years to close the existing global gender gap. While the events industry is female-dominated in terms of numbers, its glass ceiling inhibits female representation at senior leadership levels.
  • In the spirit of cooperation and open exchange, Ladies’ Choice: Women seek conversation with men about diversity and gender equality, bringing together a panel of women and men to discuss what individuals and organisations can accomplish by working collectively.

The panel includes Dr Debbie Kristiansen from Exhibition World Bahrain, Kit Lykketoft from Wonderful Copenhagen, Ben Goedegebuure from Maritz Global Events and moderator Kerstin Wünsch from TW Tagungswirtschaft and cofounder of She Means Business.

“Diversity and gender equality are not only an answer to the staff shortages in our industry,” says Kerstin Wünsch. “With the new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), corporations in the European Union are now required to report on sustainability in all its dimensions, including the social dimension. She Means Business is doing its part.”

Carina Bauer, CEO of the Imex Group: “The events industry needs to collaborate and engage in open dialogue to ensure opportunities for everyone regardless of gender. We’re delighted to introduce a supportive and well-informed She Means Business programme packed with honest discussion and women who are leading the way to a more equitable future.”