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To help further the business leadership of women, and to continue to prepare for the Women’s Leadership Forums at IMEX in Frankfurt in May and IMEX America in October, the IMEX Group announced the results of a December survey conducted on women’s opportunities, challenges and learning interests in the global meetings industry. Results were announced on March 8, International Women’s Day. The more than 120 respondents included both women and men, primarily from Europe and the U.S.

According to female respondents, there are still places where gaps exist between a woman’s experience, achievement and knowledge, and the level of respect, trust and opportunity she feels she receives in business. This gap, not surprisingly, varies across cultures around the globe.

Achieving a balance between life and work was a hot topic with many of the women surveyed, indicating that they need help in setting reasonable limits without fear of losing their jobs. Keeping pace with skills used by younger employees, who have been raised on technology, is also an area of continued effort for female respondents. Wanting to better their skill set and knowledge, many females surveyed noted an interest in negotiation training, financial management, economic forecasting, strategic planning, time management, and employee motivation.

Male respondents likewise reported seeing continued issues in leadership and professional opportunities for women—sometimes based on perceived versus actual differences in skills, created by lingering biases and traditionally heavier childcare requirements.

Having the chance to hear directly from women CEOs or C-level executives in the industry about their successes and how they got there is highly valued at the IMEX tradeshows.

“Understanding how achievement is fostered within our industry for women and collaborating to move that issue forward is very exciting for us,” said Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group. “We are always eager to have insights like those from these surveys. They help to drive and improve our education program, which this year offers over 100 seminars and workshops, many of which have a strong appeal for women working in the meetings industry in particular.”

Facilitators for both of the Women’s Leadership Forums in Las Vegas and Frankfurt will be: Liz Jackson, president, Jackson Consulting Inc., and Susan Sarfati, CEO, High Performance Strategies.

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