Exhibition World Issue 3 – 2021 | Page 24

Women in exhibitions
of the largest tradefair and congress companies in Poland , a member of UFI and ICCA . “ In 2014 we invested in the EXPO KRAKOW International Trade Fair and Congress Centre , where we organise dozens of major events per year .”
The company is an example of the fact that it is not gender that decides career opportunities . In this industry , typically female competences are much appreciated by clients .
Woch adds that the majority of employees in her company are women . “ Women perform much better and dominate in areas like event organisation , sales , marketing and accounting . On the other hand , in IT departments and technical and logistic organisations , the majority are men .”
Dina Tomsic believes she has been appreciated in her career not because she was a woman , but due to her skills and experience .
“ On my career journey that I have built in the exhibition industry , from the starting position as key brand manager to the assistant director of Zagreb Fair , and today as the CEO of that same organisation , I have never felt hindered by the fact that I am a woman , and I am proud of that .”
In Russia Olga Budnaya headed , as general director , the RusJewellerExpert Company , a part of JUNWEX Media Holding , which organises the largest jewellery shows in the country .
Budnaya says the current ratio of women to men in leading positions in the country is approximately 45 % versus 55 %, and represents progress from the old days . “ In the JUNWEX Media Holding team 67 % of top managers are women ,” she says .
In our eastern neighbours , the percentage of women appears much higher in this sector than the world average .
I asked my female colleagues how they thought the salaries of women
in our sector compared to the salaries of men .
In Poland , Dagmara Chmielewska believes women earn comparable rates to men in the same positions . Chmielewska notes , however , that salaries in Poland are much lower than in Western countries . “ The situation is changing for the better , but it will probably take another dozen or so years to eliminate these differences .”
Ewa Woch says in her company salary is absolutely not determined by gender . “ There are no differences in pay between male and female colleagues in the same position .”
She adds that in the Małopolska region , where her company operates , the situation is different in some other sectors , however . “ Recent studies have found that in this region women ’ s salaries are on average 30 % lower than men ’ s in a similar position .”
Budnaya points out that access to development for men and women in the exhibition and event industry is comparable in Russia . “ For us equality means the same level of opportunities and access to professional development and career growth for everybody . The Russian exhibition industry has a female face . Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right , but a necessary foundation for a peaceful , prosperous and sustainable world .”
The International Labour Organisation at the UN has rated countries in the world by share of women in leadership positions and Russia is ranked 14th with 44.7 %.
Budnaya also mentions statistics published by the Boston Consulting Group which note the equal pay indicator in Russia ( 0.68 ) is comparable to Asia and Australia ( 0.69 ) ( on a scale from 0 to 1 , where 1 is full equality of women and men ).
“ In terms of equal pay for equal work , Russia is ahead of Western
Dina Tomsic
Elżbieta Roeske
Ewa Woch
European countries ( 0.65 ) and ranks somewhere behind Japan ( 0.7 ) and North America ( 0.74 ),” Budnaya adds .
Ela Roeske of the MTP Group , adds : “ In our company it is skills , creativity and experience that count , not gender . As a woman - and I started working here while still in my final year of university - I have never felt that it was harder ( or indeed easier ) because of my gender . I owe what I have achieved to my work and perseverance .”
Olga Budnaya says that although women are characterised by having high organisational abilities and sociability , she believes they are generally less self-confident than men , and do not actively seek power . “ Women can conquer the market if they want to , precisely because of their extraordinary soft skills ,” she adds .
Woch puts forward another idea , discussed recently at a special Women ’ s Lodge forum of the Krakow Chamber of Commerce and Industry :
“ In large companies and corporations it can be difficult to persuade women to take up a higher managerial position . Up to a certain level they take up the challenge and turn out to be great team leaders , but at a certain point they give up on further promotion . No doubt this is rooted in family functions . But cultural stereotypes are important and we must think how this can be changed . Above all , it can be changed with education . Women must believe that they are not inferior , and can reach for the stars !”
Stereotypical thinking about the role of women needs to be broken down bit by bit to give women a chance to spread their wings . They will not do this if there is no partner or systemic family support by the state ( kindergartens , medical care , etc ). In Poland this has begun to change , but is still far from ideal . It is therefore hardly surprising that
24 Issue 3 2021 www . exhibitionworld . co . uk