International Women’s Day
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is Balance for Better, Balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage.
Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive.Financial services firms top the charts for gender diversity, while telecoms, media and technology companies are the best for ethnic diversity, a report by management consultants McKinsey found.
The events industry is however a female dominated sector with women outnumbering men 5:2 in junior and senior management teams. Companies promote diversity for many reasons. Research shows that central among these should be the fact that diversity has a demonstrable relationship to inclusive growth and longer-term value creation, particularly when it is found at the executive level.
Britain’s most successful companies have women in senior roles. It is clear a drive to awareness in increasing diversity at the top is having an impact.
In 2011 there were 152 all-male boards, compared to only 8 in 2017. However, there is still much work to be done. In 2016 there were more CEOs in the FTSY100 named Dave, Steve or Stephen than the total number of CEOs who are women*.Now more than ever is a very pivotal moment in time for women.
As a company HEL’s prides itself on championing women in the workplace and beyond. From seeking out the very best staff, both female and male, with personality and character who can intelligently deliver brand messages, to nurturing and growing the next generation of female leaders through our training, student placement and mentoring programs.
In an industry where 20 years ago, female promotional staff were booked for campaigns based largely on image, it was our deliberate and conscious decision to focus on skills and finding the right person for the job. This is the now the general trend in the industry, however, there are still areas of concern. We cannot talk about the events industry and ignore the scandal caused by the men-only fundraising dinner at the Dorchester in London for the Presidents Club charity, in January 2018.
The investigation by the Financial Times revealed that hostesses at the event were told to wear “skimpy black outfits with matching underwear and high heels” and received unwanted advances and sexual harassment.
Thankfully the institutionalised objectification of women is being torn down at a speed that we have never seen before. The media spotlight is on all industries to do better and safeguard the wellbeing of women at work. It has always been the priority of HEL’s to safeguard all staff and we continue to be diligent in striving for excellence for our Angels and in partnering with the right companies and brands.
Our Founder Helen Hanson says: “I am inspired daily by the power and intelligence of the many women I work with. But be it female or male, we celebrate all our Angels for being fabulous humans; engaging, diverse, creative, bright and intelligent.”
We can all collectively play a part in a shared responsibility for driving a gender-balanced world. So put your hands out and STRIKE THE #BalanceforBetter POSE and make International Women’s Day YOUR day – and do what you can to truly make a positive difference for women everywhere.