IAEE’s Women’s Leadership Initiative provides a holistic approach to developing leadership skills for women in the exhibitions and events industry regardless of age, individual situation or current position.

Message from IAEE Women’s Leadership Committee Chairperson

Ann Olson, CEM | Vice President of Client Relations | GES

Can you believe it?  Following our accomplishments from 2018, I am ecstatic to announce that the we just completed our first IAEE Regional Women’s Leadership Forum!

In Los Angeles, with 40 attendees, the half-day program provided an opportunity for attendees to hear from keynote speakers, Jennifer Mueller, PhD and Sarita Maybin and what a success it was. Attendees were also able to hear from a phenomenal group of industry women sharing how they have successfully navigated a male-dominant world, moments of disruption, and politics but most importantly shared their passion for mentoring others, connecting and touching those in need through volunteerism and having that personal desire and passion to grow beyond measure.

International Women’s Day was March 8th, and I hope you all had a chance to spend time with other women, celebrating who each of them are and what they have accomplished; I know I did!  What a great way to recognize others and support what we are all working to achieve…for all women to have the opportunity to reach their goals and make a difference.

And the Excitement doesn’t stop there! The WLF Signature Event is Sold Out! We are thrilled with this terrific response, and look forward to seeing those of you there, that are able to attend.  For those that aren’t, we will represent you well and share our experiences.

This year’s program and speaker line-up is one for the books! From unlocking your DNA code for leadership, understanding the differences between men and women, assessing your biases, to fully understanding what it means to promote diversity and inclusion, to discovering wonder over worry and channeling your grit to greatness…there’s something for everyone!

Now is the time to challenge yourself and truly ask what it is that you hope to get out of this event. For those of you who will be in attendance, I commend you on your choice to take this step forward, strengthening your personal and professional skills and knowledge. It is your ultimate chance to connect with others, share your experiences, discuss challenges you are facing and to maximize your opportunities for growth and development.

Last but certainly not least, the success of this program would not be possible without the contributions of those who continue to support IAEE. The WLF Committee and I would like to express our sincere gratitude to the generous and committed partners who provide ongoing support to IAEE and this initiative.

And to those who have not had the chance to join us on this journey, we welcome you. Be inspired, seek more for knowledge, believe in the value of yourself!

Pay Equity in the Exhibitions and Events Industry

Despite the fact that the exhibitions and events industry employs more female professionals than male, women earned 60% of what men earned in 2018, according to a new survey on Compensation Trends by Trade Show Executive (TSE) and the International Asso­ciation of Exhibitions & Events® (IAEE). In fact, female exhibition/event professionals earn an average base salary of $92,400 annually, compared with their male counterparts who earned $154,703.

The pay gap in the exhibitions industry is wider than other industries. On average, a woman earns 80.5 cents for every dollar a man earns, according to data from the US Census Bureau. In 2018, about 57% of women are part of the workforce, compared to 69% of men, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. IAEE reports 58% of members are female.

It’s worth noting that a 2018 compensation study conducted by Mercer for the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) reveals gender pay gaps on the for-profit side, but not as large. For Show/Event Managers, women average a base salary of $75,166, compared with their male counterparts who earn $84,468 — a dif­ference of 12%. The gap increases as the level gets higher. For Show Directors, women average a base salary of $98,997, compared with males who earn $121,382 — a gap of 23%.


Base Salary by Gender

Did You Know…

Individuals with the CEM designation make up to 30% more? 

The Certified in Exhibition Management® (CEM) is a globally recognized designation that demonstrates the highest professional standard throughout the exhibition and event management arena. It was first created in 1975 to raise professional standards in the event industry and it continues to be the premier mark of professional achievement.

The CEM designation accommodates short and long-term career goals with education that can be tailored to meet specific needs and interests. The designation is obtained by completion of nine courses offered in classroom and on-line formats. The CEM Learning Program is offered in a variety of countries, including the United States, Canada, Brazil, China, India, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, and Thailand.  For more information, contact Jennifer Potter at jpotter@iaee.com to get started.

Active CEMS Around the World

59% of Our Female Members are Under 40?

The IAEE Young Professionals group was created to fill an important niche in the exhibitions and events community. If you are 35 or under and are looking for a network with core life objectives including career advancement, becoming financially secure and being involved in a special interest group while maintaining a social life, then IAEE Young Professionals is right for you. Contact Jannat Choudhury for more information.