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

It’s that time of year where every individual reflects on their accomplishments, their challenges and their gratitude. I personally have many blessings that I am grateful for. There are many things and people that have enriched my life, and being part of IAEE and chair of the Women’s Leadership Committee is one of those blessings.

As I reflect on our 2019 year, I celebrate our accomplishments and want to share my appreciation for these fellow peers, strong and compassionate women in our industry who work hard to bring education and inspiration to other strong women in our industry. Their insights, hard work and collaboration are what make our programs a continued success, and this year, we have had a lot of them.

IAEE staff, Marsha Flanagan and Stacy Riddler, you continue to build this community, this initiative and advance the learning of so many women in our industry. We thank you for all you do!

I look forward to seeing you at Expo! Expo!, especially on Tuesday, 3 December from 8:45 AM – 10:15 AM for the amazing Women’s Leadership Experience with Betsy Allen-Manning and a phenomenal panel discussion of industry women.

Mark your calendars for The Women’s Leadership Forum on 27-28 April 2020, as well as the regional programs, back for a second year after much success! Registration will open soon for various programs, so watch for updates after Expo! Expo!.

Finally, a big thank you for allowing me the honor to serve as chairperson of the committee. Building friendships and strengthening our community has been a blessing and a rewarding and humbling experience. Safe holidays ahead, see you in Las Vegas!



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.