Working Mothers in the Meetings Industry Report Flexibility From Employers

working mothers, meetings
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 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and 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, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.

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