While several meeting industry organizations have been working individually to address the issue of sexual harassment as it relates to events, nine organizations decided the time has come to pull together resources and form a cross-industry coalition task force. Included in the coalition are leaders from the Association for Women in Events, the American Society for Association Executives and the ASAE Foundation, the Events Industry Council, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, IMEX, the Joint Meetings Industry Council, Meeting Professionals International, the Professional Convention Management Association, and the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence.
“All the organizations came together because the ethical concerns and human rights would be better served working together, so we can stop sexual harassment from occurring in the industry,” says ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham, IV, FASAE, CAE. The task force plans to identify tools and develop new resources to help educate individuals and the events industry as a whole about sexual harassment. First up will be a webinar; check the nine organizations’ websites for updates on upcoming education and other initiatives.
“It’s imperative that our organizations present a united front against sexual harassment in the industry. Together, we are declaring zero tolerance for behavior that harasses or discriminates,” says AWE President and Cofounder Kiki J. Fox, who is the driving force behind the initiative and, with AWE Past President and Cofounder Carrie Abernathy, CMP, CEM, CSEP, has been in charge of organizing the coalition meetings.
Task force members include:
• John H. Graham, IV, FASAE, CAE, president and CEO, ASAE
• Susan Robertson, CAE, executive vice president, ASAE, and president, ASAE Foundation
• Bob Skelton, chief administration officer, ASAE
• Carrie Abernathy, CMP, CEM, CSEP, past president and cofounder, AWE
• Kiki J. Fox, president and cofounder, AWE
• Julie Sullivan, CMP, CEM, CTA, vice president, AWE
• Nicole Unger, CMP, secretary, AWE
• Johnnie White, MBA, CAE, CMP, treasurer, AWE
• Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE, COO, IAEE
• Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, CEO, EIC
• Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX
• Rod Cameron, executive director, JMIC
• Amanda Armstrong, chair, MPI
• Rhonda Brewer, immediate past president, SITE