Event Industry Leaders Form Coalition to Stop Sexual Harassment

The ongoing #MeToo movement has shone a light on sexual harassment at conferences and other events. A new coalition, led by the Association for Women in Events and joined by ASAE, aims to put an end to it.

The Association for Women in Events (AWE) has announced a new coalition aimed at stopping sexual harassment at events and in the workplace. ASAE is one of the nine organizations that has joined the coalition.

“All the organizations came together because the ethical concerns and human rights would be better served working together, so we can stop sexual harassment from occurring in the industry,” said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham, IV, FASAE, CAE, in a press release.

Kiki J. Fox, president and cofounder of AWE, said stopping sexual harassment has always been an issue that was important to the group’s past president, Carrie Abernathy. “So, when we saw the rise of the #MeToo movement and #TimesUp, we started to see a lot of this addressed individually by organizations as well,” she said. “We felt that this was the perfect time to get the groups together because we are stronger as a united front.”

In addition to AWE and ASAE, the coalition includes the Events Industry Council, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, the IMEX Group, the Joint Meetings Industry Council, Meeting Professionals International, the Professional Convention Management Association, and the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence.

“Together, we are here to take a stand against harassment and discrimination, and we are working together to make sure that everybody knows that we have a zero-tolerance policy,” Fox said.

The next step for the coalition is to host a webinar aimed at training organizations in sexual harassment awareness. Fox said she hopes the webinar will “give companies and organizations a little bit of a starting point.”

The coalition hopes to identify existing tools for stopping discrimination and harassment, as well as develop new resources to assist those working in the events industry. These resources will be available on the coalition members’ websites.

(CasarsaGuru/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Emily Bratcher

By Emily Bratcher

Emily Bratcher is a Contributing Editor for Associations Now. MORE

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