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

2019 is off to an exciting start for the Women of IAEE! We are so fortunate to expand our Women’s Leadership Forum offerings this year, with the support of both IAEE and our new Chairperson, Tom Cindric, Jr., CEM. Those of you who were able to attend Expo! Expo! in New Orleans heard Tom share his enthusiasm for our work in expanding and unifying the unique role of women in the exhibitions and events industry. With three daughters of his own, Tom shared that, “this initiative that IAEE has championed over the past 5 years is something for all of us to be proud of.” Each year finds us increasing our presence and influence in this exciting industry.

We are especially excited that in addition to our signature event in the Washington, D.C. area, we will expand with three regional events in Los Angeles, Schaumburg (outside Chicago) and Dallas. These added programs will allow more women to participate, as well as meet others in these regions. Thank you to VisitDallas for sponsoring this growth and your dedication to the women of IAEE.

We ended 2018 with the Women’s Leadership Experience at Expo! Expo! in December, hearing from leading women outside our industry who shared many of the same issues and concerns that face us all. It was a great way to kick off Expo! Expo!.

In addition, for the first time, IAEE had two female general session keynotes, Futurist Nancy Giordano and Blue-Collar CEO, Mandy Rennehan.

As we begin this new year, I would like to share my appreciation of last year’s Chairperson, Julia Slocombe. Julia, you are forever gracious and positive, and we thrived under your leadership. I would also like to thank last year’s Women’s Leadership Committee. With the focus of our program within IAEE, you are truly an amazing group of women, dedicated to our professional growth. Last but not least, we are so fortunate to have the continued guidance, hard work and energy from our team at IAEE. Thank you all for your involvement.

Registration is now open for all of our programs in 2019! Please be sure to register early – our event in February is in just over a month! You will be able to register for all of the events in one easy step. Please click here to register now. We look forward to seeing friends from past events and meeting new people. Encourage other women to participate – the best way to support women is to share of yourself and bring us all together!

Thank you for the opportunity to chair this amazing group in 2019. I am excited to see the continuous strides we make and look forward to another successful year!

Ann Olson

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.