The challenges of integrating men into the meetings industry
At Congrex Switzerland, less than 14% of the overall staff are men. Looking at the business units where men are active, there are clear clusters. In the sponsorship department, there is one man, in the marketing and sales team half of the team are men and the IT department is a clear men’s only domain.
Nevertheless, we try to encourage men to apply for open positions, but the ratio of applications is still considerably lower. Especially in the departments of participant’s registrations, association management, meeting planning and accommodation management, we hardly get any applications from men. However, we believe that a sound combination of gender is beneficial for a healthy work atmosphere. To break up these clusters the office structure at Congrex is arranged to encourage a healthy mix of genders. The business units with men are between business units where a majority of woman exists. We have experiences that the deliberate placement of male units within close proximity of female units encourages creativity and benefits the work climate in general.
During the last few years, the possibility of working part-time has also become more important for men. Some of them need time to work on private projects and others would like to spend time with their children. We offer a very flexible arrangement of work-time to meet these demands. Everybody has the possibility to work part-time and the present time at the office can be organised at highest flexibility. This encompasses working from home and organising the personal presence according to the current workload but also fitting the private schedules where possible.
Finding The Right Person
As opposed to other industries, three women chair the executive management of Congrex Switzerland and the overall management team consists of nine women and two men. This pretty much matches the overall ratio of the entire team. The challenge of integrating men at all levels of our business will continue. However, more important than gender is the skills set of the individual employee. In the end, we are all human. Therefore finding the right person for the right position must not necessarily depend on one’s sexes, but rather on their mindset.
Congrex Switzerland is an internationally operating agency delivering customised solutions. This encompasses the overall organisation of conferences and meetings including the management of hotel rooms and the strategic consultancy. Annually Congrex Switzerland organises approximately forty-five events with over 73’000 delegates. Amongst our clients are international associations, governmental organisations and corporations. If you wish to receive additional information about Congrex Switzerland, please feel free to contact us.