Step Up

This week I read several articles about women and careers that focused on issues we’ve become very familiar with: family balance and demands, career growth and salary inequality. Two offered suggestions beyond the usual grumblings. Event Manager Blog has some good advice in “5 Ways for Women to Boost Their Events Career.” While the actions are fine on a personal level (for men as well as women), we need to go further as an industry to promote the profession of all event planners, push for pay parity and advocate for more women as leaders in hospitality and meetings. One positive move forward would be to adopt new job titles and definitions that reflect the various roles and responsibilities involved in organizing major events. “Meeting planner” is hardly sufficient, and meeting professional, while better, does not hint at the many categories and skills of a strategic meetings management team. An insightful and more inclusive opinion piece in The New York Times, “A Toxic Work World,” delves into related issues but places them in the context of today’s business world and culture, pointing to burnout and the need for a new support system that reflects the reality of women’s place in the workforce. The essay, by Anne-Marie Slaughter, president of New America, a civic think tank, is from the author’s forthcoming book “Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family.” Her message of hope: Fundamental shifts in the way we think, talk and confer prestige have occurred in the past 50 years (she lists several significant changes as evidence) and even more can. She concludes, “We can, all of us, stand up for care. Until we do, men and women will never be equal; not while both are responsible for providing cash, but only women are responsible for providing care.” Read her arguments. They make sense for women, men and business. Read more about the reevaluating meeting professionals in “A New Breed of Meeting Professionals.” Tell us what your job title is or what it should be in the comments below. Allow "Is Your Job Title Dynamic Enough?" to inspire you. We’ll share your suggestions (names withheld) and continue the conversation.