The Federation’s Board already features a substantial female majority. Some two-thirds of the delegates at the Federation’s recent Congress in Estoril, Portugal, were women. And the organisation’s next President is a woman – Luisa Ahrens Teixeira, a leading member of EFAPCO’s Portuguese member association, APECATE, takes office in May.
Small wonder, then, that one of the highlight sessions at the 5th EFAPCO Congress echoed this feminine confidence.
An all-women lineup included, Anne De Smet, Managing Director of Momentum and President of BAPCO, Belgium’s EFAPCO member association, who illustrated how women were now leading the industry’s future.
However, she said, women were still under-represented in management and decision-making roles – just 11 percent across Europe in a recent study. However women leadership in the meetings industry at large and within the EFAPCO membership in particular accounted for at least 50 percent. Women leaders in the age range 50 to 55 were well-represented.
The meetings industry was ahead of other sectors when it came to women leadership, she added: “However, if they want to keep a successful leading position, women in the meetings industry also need to develop a number of leadership skills, which will be essential in tackling future global trends.”
Fellow Belgian, Isabella Lenarduzzi, Managing Director of JUMP “Empowering Women, Advancing the Economy” reckoned that equality within the EU could deliver a 27 percent increase in GDP and that women’s energy and talent were the most untapped renewable source of global energy!
Independent Financial Consultant Mariana Abrantes de Sousa spoke enthusiastically about the enduring value of face-to-face events in the era of Facebook. She also laid out a persuasive series of arguments about why more women leaders were needed. “Women make or influence most of a family’s purchasing decisions. And when you educate a man you educate one person. When you educate a woman you educate the whole family.”
What differentiates a woman leader, she asked: “They have more collective objectives than individual ones. They are more organised, more intuitive, more sensitive and inclusive, and place more reliance on the power of information sharing, negotiation and participation.”
EFAPCO’s new President Luisa Ahrens Teixeira who takes over as the Federation’s first woman president in May said: “It’s not surprising to see the growing participation of women in the meetings sector. After all, we work at the forefront of human communication and our women’s day session proved just how increasingly effective and influential they have become.”
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.