To celebrate International Women's Day 2016, Crown interviewed our female talent on what the day means to them. We kick start our week-long showcase with project manager Helena Markey.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
International Women’s Day to me celebrates the equalities we have gained as a sex in the working world, as well as highlights challenges for the coming years in various industries not only events. To me this is an opportunity for fairly taboo subjects in the workplace such as feminism to become less about us and them, and more about how we as equals move forward to not discriminate against each other.


As a woman in Events what are your thoughts on it as an industry for women?
I think our industry is particularly accessible for women in entry level positions. There are challenges however when specialising in technical which I've discussed with friends and colleagues who work in technical specific event production or are technicians.


What are the best bits relating to your role and career to date?
The flexibility is fantastic, but a double edged sword. By far my favourite bit about my role is travelling, meeting and working with new people. It’s one of my objectives in life to experience as much as I can of the world and this industry certainly allows me to explore it to the fullest.  


And have you ever experienced any negative gender related issues in our industry? 
The only negative gender related issues I have encountered personally was at a panel discussion by ISES on Women in Events for Event Huddle. There was a great deal of contention surrounding the subject of inequality when we came to it at the discussion, the panel was mixed 50/50 men to women. I believe the panel had this sort of reaction because for many people inequality is seen as an issue of the past, which was the overall opinion of half of the panel. Personally I feel inequality is a current and important issue in our industry that is improving year on year but isn’t a finished deal. I found the different perspectives aired at the discussion on this issue interesting and surprising in some cases.  

ISES have been running their ‘Women in Events’ campaign for a number of years, interesting interviews from a couple of years ago here:


What advice would you give your younger self as you started to navigate your career? 
I would tell my younger self to slow down, not everything has to happen immediately or how you imagined it to be, life isn’t a competition. If you go quickly all the time you miss some of the fun stuff.


What would your hopes be for Women and specifically around the theme of Parity in the future?
My hopes are that with the growing number of women in senior leadership roles parity of job roles, pay and treatment between the sexes will become fairer regardless of whether a role is traditionally seen as a sex specific role.