posted on 19 october, 2016

18 months from the very first EWL lunch we revisited the gender and diversity topic for our October coffee morning, but this time with guest host Fay Sharpe, Zibrant – Top 50 company for women to work for – Managing Director and Founder of Fast Forward 15, the event industry’s mentoring programme exclusively for women looking to further their careers in events.

The event was held at new creative space ‘No Such Place‘ in Covent Garden, and was attended by #eventprofs from Fisher Productions, Guinness World Records, Emerald & Mae, Unicorn Events, 8 Northumberland Avenue, EventShaper, Dezika, Payne & Gunter, Ginger Jar Food, Evotion and GS Live.

Fay’s key highlights from the discussion were;

• Women feel the need to present a perfect solution rather than just jumping in head first. This may be a reason why women don’t speak up as much as men and perhaps why they don’t achieve more

• Diversity based on gender, age etc. is good but need to ensure you have the right person for the role rather than just filling a quota

• People need to show that thirst for development and drive, if this is seen at the application process then candidates are more likely to be selected for the roles

• Event management degrees are mainly female orientated, we should be doing more to get boys involved

• Benefits of mentoring; learn from your mentor, create goals, work out career development path, be able to listen, widens professional network, builds confidence, provides a voice, remember the mentor also learns from the mentee

• There is still a pay gap that needs to be addressed!

For the EWL members who attended key take-aways were as follows:

• Diversity in terms of gender and age are very important.  Education is on going whether formal or informal.

• Setting a goal, there is a shift in gender balance in events

One member even had this to say about Fay and the event:

• Fay Sharpe is the most inspiring person I have met in quite a while. She is so impressive, and generous, great choice of host. Thank you for this morning. What a way to start the day!

We couldn’t agree more! Huge thanks to Fay and the team at No Such Place for your expert hosting.

Our next coffee morning is on Thursday 3rd November at Spencer House. We’ll be discussing customer service and whether this is currently falling short, with guest hosts Chris Stallworthy, Spencer House Event Director and Component Events Director, Charlotte Picot.

See you next time!

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