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

Wow! Can you believe that it is almost August?! The year is flying by.

I am so happy to say we did it again, another outstanding Women’s Leadership Forum – this time in Schaumburg, near Chicago. We were so fortunate to have 50 women come together to listen, learn and share with some outstanding speakers! Patsy Doerr started the morning sharing great knowledge of how to improve inclusion in the workforce, helping us understand how to appreciate diversity. We then had a panel led by Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE of Association Forum, with an outstanding group of women sharing their leadership experiences and insight. We finished the morning with Jodi Bondi Norgaard who spent time sharing how so many of our current environmental practices lead to unhealthy self-image, and more importantly, self-image that doesn’t match today’s strong women. She shared her toy line – Go! Go! Sports Girls – and how we can all work on changing the past practices responsible for creating bad messaging. Our group of women shared their excitement and passion for working together to make women stronger and more confident.

I would like to give a huge thank you to the current Women’s Leadership Committee for their guidance and assistance on creating these events; we could not do it without you! Thank you so much for your time, dedication and attention to these events. The events are stronger because of you!

We are fortunate to have one more regional event this year, on 24 September in Dallas. We encourage all to attend the event and hear from different speakers. For those of you attending Expo! Expo! in Las Vegas this year, be on the lookout for the Women’s Leadership event. It requires separate registration and promises to offer a fun program and a great way to kick off the week.

Enjoy the rest of your summer, and we look forward to seeing you at the next event!



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.