What about Men in Events?
As a long time professional working in Events, Marketing, Branding and Design I have been fortunate to work in environments where women are equal players and decision makers in day to day working, board rooms and pay packets.
So I am disapointed, but not surprised, to see the gender inequality surfacing from many business sectors in especially the usual testosterone dominated suspects such as Finance and Law (spot the public school connection)
Now as much as the non stop relentless noise and pressure on organisations to fix this keeps the subject front of mind, there is a danger that the cummulative effect is to numb peoples' attitudes and create apathy and disconnection. I think this is a symptom of today's media madness which informs well past saturation point. Look at Syria!!!
Anyway I think we can agree that Gender Inequality has certainly caught a wave. (We have been dedicating much space on the subject here on ICEONLINE). But you know when everyone has their eyes glued to something? They often overlook other stuff that needs keeping at least one eye on.
I have a real time example where a middle aged man working within a global events organisation has been victim to a gender driven backlash where his female dominated office have subtly turned on him as their effigy of all that's bad in men in the workplace. And typically in any bullying scenario they have picked on a kind, caring and gentle person. He is currently on sick leave. (See CALM)
Which in a female dominated sector (women outnumber men 5:2 in junior and senior event management teams), isn't particularly healthy but hopefully an exception.
I suppose the thing I'm hoping to get to here is flagging up the danger of the bullied turning bully. We all prefer the story of the victim turning hero, vanquishing the bully and going on to become a champion and defender of the victimised. And hopefully the near future will demonstrate this in not just the events community but right across the spectrum.
So men in events. What are they up to? After a long trawl around the subject I was able to find a couple of positive comments to share. Here's a snipet from an article in Conference News by By Johnny Martinez from Shocklogic
Let’s make sure men are always involved in the conversation
Use your instinct and your professional network - both within your organisation and beyond - to connect both women and men who speak for a variety of roles, levels and specialities. There is incredible value in having men and women share their challenges, experiences and professional development in an open forum where there is mutual respect and understanding as well as the desire to transform the status quo. Men should take a much more active role in advocating for equality at work; rather than just a supportive campaigns and initiatives, we should see men at the forefront communications, events and activities. Other men and women will feel even more encouraged to speak up about these issues if they see a diverse collaboration between individuals regardless of member.
This reminds me of a meeting I had with a Global Women in Business community who invited me to edit their online publication and newsletter. I was given a list of contributers and I asked why they were all women? 'Because our audience are all women" was the reply. Well without boasting about many men's ability to understand and embrace the challenges of women in business I did suggest we recruited a couple of chaps to write about their perceptions and foresights. Result ...more audience engagement and healthy insights and ideas.
We've got a story from the BBC on 6 ways to fix the gender inequality dilema, number 5 of which suggests increasing women's pay. Now I don't have a single maths related qualification but I think that's going to have a massive impact on business's financial performance. So I thought I'd check that out and it transpires that balancing the female/male pay packets will have amazing benefits.
The Council of Economic Advisers found that the U.S. economy is $2 trillion bigger now than it would have been if women hadn’t increased their participation and hours since 1970. The latest report from the McKinsey Global Institute suggests that the U.S. GDP could add yet another $2.1 trillion by increasing women’s workforce participation and achieving parity.
Meanwhile, if full parity were to be achieved - meaning women were involved in the workforce identically to men — a total of £600 billion of additional GDP could be added to business-as-usual forecasts in 2025.
However don't hold your breath, according to The World Economic Forum, best known for its annual gathering in the Swiss resort of Davos, it will take 217 years for disparities in the pay and employment opportunities of men and women to end.