It’s a woman’s business: Garofani

It’s a woman’s business: Garofani
By admin

Comment with Inge Garofani, director Spirited Endeavours

The business events industry faces a challenge which is rarely commented on except with those that is affects. The industry is female dominated when it comes down to it. This means that professionals and organisations in the industry need to consider the challenge of achieving the right balance between family and work commitments.

It’s common for employees to reach a high level of experience at about the same time they want to have a family. And given that it’s difficult to juggle work and raise a family at the same time, mothers are focused on flexibility in the workplace – the opportunity to continue their career whilst managing the household and family demands.  Some are lucky enough to have the right support mechanisms at home but this is rare in the current climate where most families are double income to get by.

The main stream industry doesn’t always provide for paid maternity leave and sometimes part time work can also be a challenge due to the nature of the client based roles. As a result the industry has seen a development of small consultants or small operators to allow the flexibility with family. The industry needs to understand this and not make assumptions that all consultants are inexperienced. The situation also changes the landscape of the industry with greater flexibility for clients in their choices. It doesn’t work for everyone or every client but it does provide experience at all levels for clients to choose from.

In my past career I was lucky to have a flexible employer who allowed women to work part time, from home and in agreed flexible arrangements when family came along. This is not the case for many especially those in small operations.

To women who fall into this group, accreditation is paramount. Accreditation shows you are an experienced operator – that you have skills, industry knowledge and the right credentials . It shows you have runs on the board and are recognised by industry organisations as qualified to undertake the contracts. If you do decide to go out on your own, accreditation is critical to get ahead, and in my experience, has helped me transition from a large company to a small boutique organisation to fit in with my family situation.

I believe the industry benefits from not only flexible employment in the mid to large size organizations but also from having the small organisations and the consultants available to assist clients. It gives the industry the ability to adapt to clients needs and meet the needs of the variety of clients we work with.

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