Money & Business

New Association to Help Women in Events Industry Thrive

By / Apr 8, 2015 (iStock/Thinkstock)

The Association of Women in Events launched last week to help provide a collaborative community of both men and women interested in supporting female events professionals.

There’s a new association supporting women in the events industry.

The Association of Women in Events, which launched last week, will aim to create a collaborative community that offers opportunities for professional and personal brand development and works to remove career roadblocks and provide growth opportunities for young female professionals.

Research has shown that female meeting planners earn less than their male counterparts in the United States, Canada, and Europe. And it’s been shown that female meeting suppliers earn around 50 percent less than male meeting suppliers in the United States.

Considering data like that, it’s time to focus on those issues and find champions in the industry to help support women, said AWE cofounder Carrie Abernathy. “In our opinion, there is no better time to launch an organization where women promote and empower other women,” she said.

AWE founders are hoping men will also join the social network and be a part of creating its strategic direction, partnerships, and offerings by serving as board members.

“We are currently seeking applications from talented men and women in the events industry that will really define and guide the mission of AWE in the future,” Abernathy said of the association’s search for its inaugural board of directors, which it plans to convene for the first time in July. “We are excited to see where exactly the community wants us to go and focus in that direction.”

While AWE doesn’t currently offer membership, Abernathy said it will consider that option if its new board and community voice a need for it.

“If there is a need for a membership community dedicated to women in events, then we should move in that direction,” she said. “We want to be an organization for the people, guided by strategic needs in the community that need to be filled instead of creating resources that may or may not be vital to women’s success.”

Despite the existing pool of associations in the events industry, Abernathy said there is plenty of room for an organization focused on women.

“Our goal isn’t to compete with other existing professional organizations, but to complement their existing resources and offerings,” she said.

Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. More »

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