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

Julie Cerza, CEM | Director of Member Recruiting and Member Services | Nations Best Sports

What a year 2019 was, and I can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store for us!

We successfully closed out 2019 with our Women’s Leadership Experience at Expo! Expo! in December, hearing from an amazing keynote speaker and a panel of industry achievers who shared their experiences, challenges and successes. As part of the committee for the past few years, I continue to be amazed by the hard work and commitment of this amazing group of women who continue to support our initiatives.

Personally, I love the collaboration that face-to-face meetings and events creates. It always provides a wide array of opportunities where I can set goals, challenge myself, learn, build new relationships and share ideas.

As you start off your year, I encourage you to do the same. What steps can you take to strengthen your skills, connect with your peers, build your network, support others and get inspired?

IAEE’s Women’s Leadership Forum is the place to do just that. With the signature event in April and additional regional programs in February, July and September, we have something for everyone, from coast to coast! These events sell out quickly, so secure your seats now before it’s too late.

Finally, and most importantly, I would like to share my appreciation for last year’s Chairperson, Ann Olson, CEM. The continued success of the IAEE women’s leadership programs is a true testament to her dedication and leadership that helped guide us on this continuous journey to create and inspire others. I hope to do the same and encourage others to get involved, show up and support one another, and I can’t think of a better group to work with than this group of amazing leaders.

I am excited to see the continuous strides we make and look forward to another successful year. I hope you will join us!



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.