IELA wants to help female talent Power Up

IELA's Power Up initiative includes a year-long mentorship programme for women with at least five years of working experience

Committed to increasing the involvement of women in leadership, International Exhibition Logistics Association (IELA) is launching the Power Up initiative for the career development of female talents in the event industry, including through a year-long mentorship programme.

In a statement, IELA said: “We want to play a key role in supporting young women to develop their power to succeed in our industry. There is indeed a need for an intergenerational exchange of experience and know-how, in personal coaching for a planned career development. We want to enable all efforts into creating positive energy and boost ambition.”

IELA’s Power Up initiative includes a year-long mentorship programme for women with at least five years of working experience

The IELA Power Up programme has three pillars for action: Inspire, Ignite and Mentor.

For inspiration, IELA will post videos and interviews with key women in the industry via social media channels and its website.

Ignite activities will include expertise workshops conducted during IELA Live events, leadership development programmes at IELA Academy, as well as organised exchange programmes.

In addition, the association will roll out a mentor/mentee programme, which will span 12 months. Three women members of IELA will be offered the opportunity to become mentees, each attributed an experienced IELA personal mentor.

Mentees will be accompanied by their mentor who will take into consideration their working environment, provide the tools for leadership development and empower their leadership skills, and give them assurance in the assumption of their responsibilities.

Female mentee applicants should have a minimum working experience of five years and female mentors a minimum of 15 years in experience.

With the industry still a distance from achieving gender balance in leadership roles, UFI research points to areas that need to be addressed.

Strengths of women include soft skills such as good communication and empathy, strong organisational skills and the capacity to multi-task. However, women are perceived to lag behind men when it came to networking.

Moreover, all respondents of a UFI survey, women and men, assigned self-confidence, technical know-how and power-related skills to men.

Gwen Kaufmann from Deutscher Fachverlag (Germany) commented: “Women clearly make up the majority of the workforce in the trade fair industry, but they only represent a minority of the leadership. Both men and women agree that women can deliver diversity with a more creative approach when it comes to solving problems, helping the industry to prosper.”

Sonia Thomas, COO at UFI stated: “Men and women have different skills, and are complementary, so the optimum is a mix of both sexes. We all must consider how to increase female representation at senior level by making the path to the top a little easier for women.”

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