Do you think there should be more women-friendly corporate hospitality events?
Corporate hospitality and entertaining are notoriously male dominated. Many are centred around sporting activities and events. Depending on the location and the dominant sport of the of the region, tickets to horse racing, polo, rugby, football, baseball, ice-hockey or any other locally popular sport are the norm. Dinners with start times of 7.30 are common place. Very often drinking (large) quantities of alcohol is involved.
Women who want to take their careers to the next level are deterred by the amount of after-hours time they will have to put in, to maintain the level of entertainment demanded by their companies. This is especially difficult if there is a business development component involved. It will also be on top of an already punishing schedule and professional commitments, with extensive after hour contact via smart phone.
Add to this that they will have to endure some gung-ho sporting event in which they will have to feign interest. I have been subjected to anything from Formula 1, Rugby World Cup, Test Cricket, dirt-track racing to go-carting. The women maybe the only woman, or one of the few women present. And if this wasn’t enough, they very often have the stress of making childcare arrangements.
On top of this I also get grief from my co-workers if I don’t go to the pub on a Friday, or on a wild night when we have signed a big deal. Don’t get me wrong. I am actually quite sporty and I do know the offside rule. But there is a limit.
[Tweet “Am I on my own in the “I’ve had enough” camp? “]
So as an increasing number of organisations are being mindful of holding meetings after 17.30, now is the time to take a marker to the corporate hospitality events list and cross out some these macho activities.[Tweet ” Let’s add some corporate hospitality events that women can enjoy and participate as equals”]. Holding any events at lunch time will also ease the burden of managing overly busy schedules. If they are held in the evenings, make them early evening at least!
Here are 10 great ideas
- A cookery master class
- A cocktail making class
- Chocolate tasting
- Comedy Club
- Hot air balloon ride
- Family BBQ or picnic
- Spa trip
- Yoga class
- Stress reduction class
- Professional image class
Or better still, this is a great market niche for a business start-up. Let’s see some gender balance in corporate events and make business entertaining more female friendly.
What ideas do you have for making some corporate hospitality events more female friendly?
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Olivia is a senior Fund Manager at a global investment fund in London