Gender Pay Gap or a massive hole? The truth about the gender pay gap in the UK events industry.

Gender Equality in events

Gender equality it is a big part of the events industries. As women we have rights and in the UK we have the ‘The Equality Act 2010’ to protect us, but other countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, China (BRIC) countries don’t have that act to protect women’s rights. Another country is Saudi Arabia, in which women are told what to do by men. Although, gender equality has been seen in different ways.

Gender equality has been describing as “the unfinished business of the time” by the UN (UN,2016). When we look at the figure at the bottom, the UN considers only 143 out of 195 countries, to have the same quality and the same right as men. It shows the discrimination of women in three different ways: laws and policies, gender-based stereotypes and social norms and practices. When looking at the social norms and practices, it means that in certain cultures the women have to do certain things like to stay at home, to look after the kids and more.

Actually we have lots of discrepancies when it comes to women which the UN has said, countries are changing but gender pay gap remains an issue. In order to improve the issues occurring and the events industry can grow, the Middle East are launching wide-range economic strategies, such as Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2020, Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 and Saudi Vision 2030.

How do we face these issues as women working in the events industry, internationally? When looking at the ‘money’ issue, this is where women are still getting paid less then man. This point will be looked as ‘gender pay gap’. However, all of this comes down to the fundamental right of dignity. When the issues are looked closer, the reason for them could be because of the culture in the BRIC countries, which are the emerging economies, that host big events; in those countries women are seen as a second class citizens

Events are rising in the Middle East, when the MICE industry has grown with 16% and attracting 4.5 million visitors. This bring the question again: Why is there a gender pay gap in jobs like events and what can possible the solution be?

Gender Pay Gap

We have the ‘The Equality Act 2010’ which we are protected by it, however there are more men who are on higher positions then women. Walters, 2018 have said that event management and event studies have grown, however there is not enough studies into the topic and the main study it’s based on gender equality. However, he has also mentioned that in sectors such as construction the percentage of men is higher and in others such as events its populated by women, however there is still the gender equality and pay gap between both.

Looking at the statistics it shows what Walters meant, when almost 29% of FTSE 100 board positions are held by women, whereas 66% of UK Members of Parliament are men. This proves that in general and other sectors there is gender equality, there will always be gender pay gap. How can that be improved?

When thinking about work and salary in the events industry, where the popularity is by women, potentially women may be earning more. Is it really like that? Well 'NO', there's also men that work in the events industry and this is where we keep having the mistake of the gender pay gap and potential gender equality. For big firms, from April 2018 firms with more than 250 staff must state the average differences between male and female employees.

A quick look at the gender pay gap shows that a major international hotel chain has a pay gap between men and women, when the average woman is paid 3.1% less than the average man. The lower the pay gap it is the better the companies gender equality will be, because they are trying to pay equal for men and women. Compared to just an event company, where they pay the average woman 13.1% less than the average man. Looking at the two companies, the hotel chain are improving and managing to keep their rates low, whereas the events company pay gap its higher than the average one reported which is 9.7%.

To look further, CGC Events Limited, are paying the average woman 0.1% less than the average man, which shows some companies are potentially owned by women. To name few that are owned by women are:

When we were asking how we can improve the gender equality and pay gap, maybe the solution to it is to work for a company owned by women or starting our own business in events.

These are just a few names that are known in the events industry and are not led by men but they are the leaders. When this pay gap happens, this means women work 67 days a year for free. I think equal pay its right till certain point when it can get to the point where men can feel useless. However, men are needed in jobs like construction, engineering and others, where women are not needed due to that men are classed as being stronger. Although, if we look at jobs in the hotel industry the manager’s positions will be held by men and the assistant position will be for women and in sectors like that we find the problem of gender equality and pay gap. This could be resolved by giving women opportunities to grow and show their potential.

To summarise, I agree with the equal pay but at the same time it should depend on the job due to that woman and man work in different industries and sectors and might also have different roles. But if you are at the same position then no matter if you are a woman or a man, I think you should be paid the same.

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