Co-owner and founder of Connected Event Group and EEAA Board Member, Libbie Ray has called on the events industry to embrace the goals of International Women’s Day to achieve true equal opportunity and connectedness in a Covid impacted world.
Connected Event Group has partnered with the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) to take its event to a bigger audience by delivering it virtually for the first time.
Libbie Ray welcomed the opportunity to extend the reach of the EEAA annual International Women’s Day Event by broadcasting from its studios in Chippendale, Sydney.
She said the 2021 theme “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid world” was a particularly poignant for Connected Event Group given the role technology had played as a connector of people over the past 12 months.
“We have seen first-hand the role that women have played in the events industry over the past 12 months creating the opportunities for people to come together,” she said. “Technology democratises opportunity - provided content does not discriminate or stereotype.
“During Covid – “connection” through tech played a key role in keeping businesses open, keeping people in touch and in supporting the mental health of many in our industry and the wider community.
“Technology is also the enabler in helping medical science find a vaccine more quickly – more knowledge sharing enabled by technology has led to speedier collaboration on a global scale. Many women played a pivotal role in helping the world.
“They have been outstanding leaders – and in Australia we have seen the important role of leading women immunologists, researchers, doctors and government agency and political leaders – technology enabled us to see them on the front-line leading us bravely through the storm.\
Thousands of meetings have been held online at every level of society – in medical science, in health in government, in industry and in the community – they have not been labelled business events – but without them the world would not have forged a pathway through the pandemic.
“Many women have been at the forefront of all of this – and IWD is a time to recognise this reality.”
“In Australia, every day since the pandemic started, we have seen amazing women fronting the Australian people and leading our nation on its Covid journey – their expertise in helping Australia through the crisis should be acknowledged and honoured on International Women’s Day, she said.
And while we know that men and women collaborated all over the world – the tech enabled “virtual and broadcast world” has helped put us on the road to recovery by bringing people together to share knowledge and collaborate on dealing with the crisis and charting the course for recovery and rebuild.
“The business events industry should be very proud that we have enabled many of these connections.” She said.
Commenting on the sub theme of IWD, Libbie Ray said the theme #ChooseToChallenge should be at the heart of the way we live our lives.
“We should not accept the status-quo especially when the status quo does not create an inclusive, fair and enabling workplace or society.
“As we go into #IWD21, I call on women AND men to support each other, to collaborate and help shine the light on biases and barriers to equality. Everyone can be a leader in this mission,” she said.
The EEAA’s 2021 IWD speakers included keynote speaker, Simone Allan, Founder and Director from the Women's Resilience Centre, Stephanie Selesnick from International Trade Information, Marie Kinsella from International Exhibitions and Conference Group and Peggy Reevell from the Australian Council for Education Leaders. The discussion is to be led Claudia Sagripianti with Libbie Ray making the closing remarks.
International Women’s Day is a designated event of the United Nations. Its Australian entity, UN Women Australia, says that IWD events share incredible stories from women who inspire, lead and are committed to making a difference every day. IWD 2021 theme here.