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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 Chair

Joyce Russell | Managing Director of Sales | Visit Indy

2023 – A New Year! A New You!

How exciting it is to step into 2023 with exhibitions and events thriving nationwide.

As I begin my new role of Women’s Leadership Committee Chair, I am grateful for our industry, the partnerships, relationships, my colleagues and peers. Our industry is strong and resilient and as I reflect on the past, and look to the future, I know we will excel and continue to move forward, build our businesses and create many opportunities for success. And you can too!

2022 showed a rebound and steadfast growth – our Women’s Leadership Events and our Women’s BUZZ Power Hours exceeded our hopes and goals. And now, the 2023 Committee is working hard to continue that path by creating programs that are impactful, providing valuable knowledge to our community and a wealth of opportunities to support one another and advance our businesses.

I look forward to hosting the Women’s Leadership Forum in March, in National Harbor, Maryland, and most importantly, celebrating its 10-Year Anniversary. Connection is what it’s all about, coming together, sharing a common goal, supporting one another, celebrating our achievements and advancing our futures.

Finally, I would like to thank Shauna Peters, CEM for her exceptional leadership as the 2022 Chairperson, and I can only hope I can lead as gracefully in her footsteps. 2023 is going to be a great year and I couldn’t be prouder to lead our amazing group of women who serve on this committee.

Here’s to a happy and successful 2023!


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 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 Hannah Deters for more information.