The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) delivered a sell-out event to mark International Women’s Day 2018.
The Association’s annual event celebrated the contribution women make to the Australian business events industry.
EEAA Chief Executive, Joyce DiMascio said women fulfil many and varied roles across event operations and logistics, sales and marketing, AV and design, security and WHS and many other areas – and it was important to recognise this impact.
EEAA President, Spiro Anemogiannis said he was very proud that the EEAA stood up and created this event to put the spotlight on the fine work done by women in all sectors of the industry.
“Without you – the sector would collapse.” He said.
“Our responsibility as an Association is to create a culture in our industry that recognises talent and importantly, fosters equal opportunity.”
“You’ll hear from some outstanding people on stage today – I’m sure it will be an interesting discussion that will provide food for thought and action – not just today but every day.”
The EEAA 2018 International Women’s Breakfast was held at Doltone House, Hyde Park and included an outstanding line-up of speakers.
City of Sydney Councillor Christine Forster; Pier One General Manager, Kim Mahaffy; Strategist, Consultant and Author, Jane Mathews; Director of the Australian Chamber Business Leaders Council, Paul Nicolaou; and The M Agency Founder and Managing Director, Emma Triggs were on stage for a spirited and uplifting conversation which shed light on the personal stories of each.
Councillor Christine Forster delivered the keynote address which was followed by a lively panel discussion.
Forster said the industry’s importance could not be underestimated.
“It is vital to Sydney’s economic, cultural and social life and enhances its position as an innovative, collaborative and lively global city.”
“The exhibition & events industry is playing a vital role in realising the goals that I’ve made my own priorities in my time as a Sydney councillor: it is attracting investment, people and ideas to the city I love.” She said.
In exploring Australia’s track-record on equality Forster said: “The reality is that the gender gap results from a myriad of interrelated work, family and societal factors: stereotypes about the occupations women and men should pursue and in which industries; the under-representation of women in senior positions; and a lack of part-time or flexible roles as we move up the career ladder.”
“And sometimes, unfortunately, there’s still just old-fashioned discrimination.”
Ms DiMascio, also reinforced the important role men can play in creating environments in which women can flourish.
“This is not just a breakfast for women. It’s a time for everyone in our industry to shine a light on the important role women play in our sector.”
“If we want to continue to attract talent – women and men – it’s important that we create an industry that values and respects those who are part of it.” Ms DiMascio said.
“Recognising that men and women are equal contributors to a healthy economy and society is the key to our future success.”
“The Association is honoured to have hosted this breakfast and is indebted to those who supported the event with their presence. The stories of our presenters provided inspiration and reassurance. Fair workplaces are richer and diversity is a mission that drives many successful people and businesses – even though stepping-up can sometimes be daunting.”
At the event, EEAA collected donations of clothing for the charity, Fitted for Work which “dresses” women who are returning to work after hardship.
About the speakers:
City of Sydney Councillor Christine Forster describes herself as “committed to the principles of common sense government, genuine sustainability, free enterprise and respect for the individual”. She played an active and public role in the recent same-sex marriage campaign and is a champion for the business event industry in Sydney.
Pier One General Manager, Kim Mahaffy is a leading woman in the business event industry. Her career has taken her around the world and she is credited with helping to make Pier One one of the most successful hotels ever. She is known for her impactful leadership style, which includes a focus on creating workplace cultures that support the individual and foster entrepreneurialism in young people.
Strategist, Consultant and Author, Jane Mathews is best known for her book, Midlife Manifesto, which encourages and inspires women to take control of their lives, through such things as ‘teaching people how to treat you’ and ‘creating a life based on how you want to feel every day’. With a background in advertising that has taken her across the globe, she now runs her own strategic consultancy, which delivers strategic business advice and specialised training in ‘unconscious bias’.
Director of the Australian Chamber Business Leaders Council, Paul Nicolaou, works with business leaders around the country and across all industries. Paul is a strong advocate for promoting women to leadership roles. Through the Australian Chamber, he creates many opportunities for women leaders to share their expertise and knowledge.
The M Agency Founder and Managing Director, Emma Triggs is a highly successful woman in media, creating campaigns for some of the world’s biggest entertainers over the past 25 years and currently delivering over 100 campaigns a year in Australia and New Zealand across live touring (music, comedy, family, theatre and others), album releases, film releases, exhibitions, sporting events and more. She is passionate about the role of mentoring in the career development of young people.
Doltone House CEO, Anna Cesarano, is also a strong advocate and mentor for women in business events and was on stage to welcome guests to the venue.
The International Women’s Day themes this year were #PressforProgress and Leave no woman behind.
With the findings from the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report telling us that gender parity is over 200 years away – there has never been a more important time to keep motivated and #PressforProgress.