She Means Business
Opportunities for everyone
Carina Bauer, Co-founder of She Means Business: The events industry needs to collaborate and engage in open dialogue to ensure opportunities for everyone regardless of gender. Photo: Imex Group
It's May. Europe celebrates Diversity Month and Germany celebrates German Diversity Day on 23 May 2023. It is the first day of the IMEX trade fair and She Means Business – A Conversation for All. For the first time, the conference on Diversity, Gender Equality and Female Empowerment appears on the Diversity Charter's action map.
It's May! It is the European Diversity Month. Organisations and companies in the European Union are flying the flag for diversity with their diversity projects. The fourth European Diversity Month was opened by Helena Dalli, EU Commissioner for Equal Opportunities. All 26 European Charter initiatives are participating with national Diversity Days. In Germany, the Diversity Charter organises all activities for the German Diversity Day on 23 May 2023.
The Diversity Charter is a commitment to the economic and social benefits of diversity and to tolerance, fairness and appreciation in the world of work and society. By signing it, companies and institutions commit to respecting their employees equally. In Germany, almost 5,000 organisations have signed, for example Bayer and BNP Paribas Deutschland, Daimler-Benz, Deutsche Bahn and Deutscher Fachverlag, SAP and Siemens, but also the trade fairs in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Freiburg, Hamburg and Hanover, universities and colleges, foundations and associations such as the Confederation of German Employers' Associations or the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC).
German Diversity Day: The Action Map
For the very first time, She Means Business appears on the action map for German Diversity Day this year. The international conference on diversity, gender equality and female empowerment will take place as part of the IMEX trade fair from 23 to 25 May 2023 in Hall 9 of Messe Frankfurt. It is a joint event of the IMEX Group and tw tagungswirtschaft, supported by MPI – Meeting Professionals International.
“The events industry needs to collaborate and engage in open dialogue to ensure opportunities for everyone regardless of gender,“ is how co-founder Carina Bauer describes the guiding principle of She Means Business. As CEO of the IMEX Group, she knows: “The industry is 70% women-powered, but only 20% women-led, meaning that clearly more work around equality of opportunity is needed.“ Diversity management could cushion 50 per cent of the shortage of skilled workers. Carina Bauer makes the topic a top-priority issue, not only in view of the shortage of skilled workers, but because she knows about the advantages of diversity in the working world – all the more so in the global events industry.
Even if her country has left the European Union, the Brit knows that the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) obliges EU companies to report on sustainability including the social dimension. She Means Business contributes to this as well as to the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. SDG 5 is Gender Equality. But gender equality is in a bad way. In its Global Gender Gap Report 2022, the World Economic Forum predicts that it will take 132 years to achieve gender parity. As crises intensify, the risk that the gender gap will grow increases.
132 years to close the global gender gap
Gender parity is not recovering, according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2022. It will take another 132 years to close the global gender gap. As crises are compounding, women's workforce outcomes are suffering and the risk of global gender parity backsliding further intensifies.
The Corona pandemic has shown Carina Bauer that there is still a lot of need for action. „In the current climate, we’re all dealing with an increased pace of change. The choice is how we frame the changes that face us at any point in time,” she finds. The education programme at IMEX Frankfurt has been designed to guide people and help them embrace change to benefit their lives, their teams and their events. Its general theme is Human Nature. “Never have we been more aware of our vulnerabilities and responsibilities as humans. Our intention with Human Nature is to encourage everyone in the global meetings, events and incentive travel industry to recognise, understand and celebrate all that’s good about being human, particularly human diversity,” Bauer reasons for the decision.
She Means Business: The programme
She Means Business is part of the track on sustainability, diversity, equality and inclusion. The international conference on diversity, gender equality and female empowerment is spread over six sessions on the three days of the fair. The first day, German Diversity Day, starts on 23 May 2023 with the panel "Road to net zero: Women as change makers". The events industry can contribute to a faster transition to a climate-neutral economy, but only if women are at the table. Kathleen Warden, Director of Conference Sales at Scottish Events Campus, Mariam AlQubaisi, Head of Sustainability and Business Excellence at Etihad Airways, Lisa Rheinheimer, Project Coordinator at Deutsche Bahn, and Kyra Reiter from Sustainable Meetings Berlin at Berlin Tourismus & Kongress. Their open exchange will include the audience. The CCH – Congress Center Hamburg is supporting the session.
- 23 May 2032: Road to net zero: Women as change makers, supported by CCH – Congress Center Hamburg
- 23 May 2023: The Metaverse – a man's world? A talk: Sabine meets Christopher in the metaverse, supported by m:con Mannheim
- 23 May 2023: Pink hour, a reception for females only at tw booth G110, supported by NürnbergConvention
- 24 May 2023: Ladies’ choice: Women seek conversation with men, supported by Abu Dhabi Convention & Exhibition Bureau
- 24 May 2023: Campfire Gen Z: Empower, nurture, grow
- 25 May 2023: Future skills: Women bridging the generation gap, supported by Stuttgart Convention Bureau
What applies to analogue worlds also applies to digital worlds. In the session "The Metaverse – a man's world?" Sabine Reise, Managing Director of Allseated Europe, talks to Christopher Werth, Chief Metaverse Office at Vok Dams Events. After all, according to McKinsey, the three-dimensional worlds of experience on the internet are expected to generate a value of up to five trillion dollars by 2030. The metaverse is emerging and constantly changing due to new technologies, market developments and expectations – of men and women. Session partner is m:con Mannheim. Men are invited to all sessions, except for the "Pink hour" at the tw tagungswirtschaft stand G110. The networking event is reserved for women who meet "among themselves" and wear a pink accessory. NürnbergConvention will host this gathering.
Diversity’s role in creating the work culture of tomorrow. This was discussed at She Means Business 2022 (from left to right) by moderator Annette Gregg (MPI), Ulrike Tondorf (Bayer AG), Juliette (Solar Promotion), Tanja Auernhamer (Bundesverband Industrie Kommunikation) and Christian Woronka (Vienna Convention Bureau). Foto: IMEX Group
Day two begins with the popular format "Ladies' choice: Women seek conversation with men about diversity and gender equality", supported by the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau. Kit Lykketoft, Director of Convention at Wonderful Copenhagen, and Dr Debbie Kristiansen, General Manager of Exhibition World Bahrain, seek conversation with Mathias Sondermann, Head of Global Event Center of Excellence at SAP, and Ben Goedegebuure, Enterprise VP, Global & Industry Presence at Maritz Global Events.
In the afternoon, the talk "Gen Z: Empower, nurture, grow" will focus on managing the expectations of Gen Z and building valuable networks in the modern workplace with Fay Sharpe, founder of the mentoring programme Fast Forward 15, and five of her Young Talents such as Grace Louisy, Head of Operation at Headbox, and Hayley Nicholson, Event Content Manager for Financial Services at Incisive Media.
She Means Business closes with the session "Future skills: Women bridging the generation gap". On the topic of Future of Education and Skills 2030, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) identifies three transformative skills: creating new values, balancing tensions and taking responsibility. People need to learn new skills from and with each other and learn to adapt constantly and quickly to new demands. Bettina Allermann, Head of Hub CEE at BNP Paribas Germany, Lujaina Al Maskari, Business Events Executive at the Oman Convention Bureau, Ping Liu, Founder of China Star, and Christina Strohschneider, Sales Manager at the Austria Center Vienna, will talk about how four generations work together and overcome the digital divide. Stuttgart Convention Bureau is the theme sponsor.
“We recognise that creating experiences, not events, is more important than ever and that people in our global industry also want to feel connected, revived and re-inspired.”
Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group
“While doing business and powering industry growth sit at the heart of our forthcoming show, IMEX Frankfurt is designed to deliver an enriching, broad experience that ripples further than the eye can see,” said Carina Bauer. “We recognise that creating experiences, not events, is more important than ever and that people in our global industry also want to feel connected, revived and re-inspired. We’re happy to lead the way and play our part.”