How diverse are we really in our industry?

This week’s guest blogger, founder & CEO at Pure Events Charlotte Gentry, tackles the tricky topic of diversity in the events industry following our recent C-Suite gathering of agency leaders…

Diversity means different things to different people, but one of the challenges that we have at Pure Events is tackling the issue of being truly diverse as a business.  We discussed this issue at length at the inVOYAGE C-Suite Round Table at Sea Containers London this month, which brought up some interesting opinions and was a highly enlightening event.

Being really truthful, the events sector in the UK is primarily a middle class, white environment, and operationally is overbearingly female. Most of the large agencies are male owned but operationally the events are delivered by women.

This therefore makes it hard to employ men in the roles of event managers but in the same breath, there aren’t many women who are on the ground setting up rigging and lighting systems. Should there be more training for women in the technical production sector of the industry? It would be wonderful to see more women leading production set up from the ground up.

The operations team at Pure Events is overwhelmingly female and I would love to have some men join our team, so if you are out there, please reach out to me!  I have started to look at collaborations with local schools in London to entice under privileged children to want to come and learn from us on events and in our offices. This is very much still work in progress, but something that I feel very strongly about.

I have given many industry talks at universities about the pros and cons of working in the events sector and have had the great fortune of meeting many enthusiastic, passionate young, bright sparks.  It is very easy to gravitate towards employing a new member of the team who is culturally exactly the same as the rest of the team, however, perhaps we should be braver than this? Diversity is what makes us interesting and builds uniqueness to businesses, and if we aren’t diverse, can we truly grow?

We are currently undergoing transformation as a business, and I am on a crusade to diversify, not just in our service offering but also in the people we bring on board moving forwards, as we can’t just all be clones of each other even though that is a very safe place to be. 

But it is not enough for one or two agencies to take this seriously, it is something that we need to be doing industry wide, to ensure that the events industry is open to anyone who wants to embark on a career in this exhilarating arena, not just the privileged few. 

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