Working Mothers in the Meetings Industry Report Flexibility From Employers

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Many working mothers in the meetings industry reported that their employers were flexible about time off.

A soon-to-be-released joint survey of 708 women by Prevue Meetings & Incentives and the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) finds that many working mothers in the meetings industry are finding their workplaces to be flexible when they need time off.

The new research by Prevue Meetings & Incentives and the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) found that working mothers in the meetings industry, both planners and suppliers, pointed to a fairly supportive environment, with almost 58.6 percent of respondent saying their employers were very flexible when they needed to take time for medical reasons for their children and 32.9 percent calling them somewhat flexible. Supplier companies were even more flexible, with 71.4 percent of supplier respondents calling their companies very flexible and 23.1 percent somewhat flexible.

Overall, the majority of women (72.5 percent of suppliers and 63.5 percent of meeting planners) did not feel they were passed over for a role, program or opportunity because they were mothers. On the flip side, almost a third of women meeting planners (30 percent) felt they were denied opportunities because they were mothers.

Among those respondents who did not have children, there was reported alienation by other women and men by 40.2 percent of meeting planners and 42 percent of suppliers.

Most likely due to a combination of job demands and economic constraints, only 38.7 percent of supplier respondents and 33.6 percent of planners said they would take unpaid time off to be with their families.

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.