IMEX Announces 'Inspirational' Female Speakers for Inaugural Women's Conference

"She Means Business" conference will showcase topics on empowering women in the workplace, and more

Just in time for Women's History Month, the IMEX Group has announced a strong lineup of women who will speak at She Means Business, a new conference that it's hosting on May 14 during EduMonday at IMEX in Frankfurt.

"Gender equality and female empowerment have never been higher on the news agenda and these issues are now, rightly, being given the due recognition they deserve -- across the meetings and events sector and society at large. Inspirational women from around the world are sharing their perspectives on the current climate at She Means Business," the IMEX Group reported this week. "The speakers are inspirational women from diverse backgrounds and sectors. What unites them is that they have overcome challenges and broken boundaries."

An outgrowth of the #MeToo movement, the half-day She Means Business conference will celebrate the role of women in the meetings industry and foster dialogue about the workplace issues they face. Open to both male and female meeting strategists, the day will commence with "Women in Space," a keynote address featuring Maj. Nicola Baumann, one of Germany's only three female Eurofighter pilots, and Laura Winterling, a former astronaut instructor and CEO of Space Time Concepts GmbH. During their address, they'll speak openly about their successes and failures, why it's important to be brave and challenge yourself, and how striving to be your best self is an ongoing journey.

After Baumann's and Winterling's address, attendees will hear from speakers across several tracks. The "Women in Business" track, for instance, will feature Karin Nordmeyer, chairwoman of the United Nations Women National Committee, who will deliver a session on the United Nations' Women's Empowerment Principles, a set of guidelines for businesses on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace, and community. It also will include Dr. Mara Harvey, a senior manager at UBS Wealth Management; Suzanna Labonde, director of global employer branding at SAP; and Isabel Bardinet, CEO of the European Association of Cardiology, who will address topics like how to reduce the gender pay gap, how to encourage women into leadership positions, and how to counteract gender bias.

Another track will be the "Women in Events" track, whose speakers will include Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO of Business Events Sydney, who will share lessons learned from Sydney's experience hosting the Global Summit of Women, and Jeannine Koch, director of re:publica, Europe's biggest digital conference, who will discuss how to ensure gender parity in events.

Finally, the conference will conclude with "Women in the Meetings Industry: On Eye Level with Men?" -- a panel discussion about gender equality and diversity moderated by Sheriff Karamat, CEO of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA).

"She Means Business is perfectly timed: Never before has the power, position, and purpose of women been more important than it is today," said reporter and producer Talia Sanhewe, who will moderate the conference. "I'm incredibly excited to moderate and facilitate discussions with some of the world's leading female thought leaders, because their message and unique stories are set to inspire and uplift the audience. My hope is to use this platform to facilitate an outstanding event, which will in turn provide a valuable contribution towards a powerful movement within the global events industry."