01.03.2024 |

Women Power in Business: How the Trade Fair Industry is Setting New Standards

Women Power in Business.For 35 years now, entrepreneur Elisabeth Unger has led TEST Berlin. With International Women’s Day approaching on March 8th, the question arises: why does the female quota in our company remain the exception within the business world? The call for increased visibility of women in leadership positions and female entrepreneurs is getting louder and louder. So how can the German trade fair industry become a pioneer in promoting women?

In a recent report by AUMA, two influential figures speak out: Susanne Hennigers, Director of Corporate Partnerships & Platform Growth at Messe München, and Jennifer Hader, Director of Human Resources & Culture at Messe München. Together, in 2021, they launched the Female Business Network “Frauen-Verbinden”. Their approach to presenting women more prominently in male-dominated industries relies on networking.

Women are less represented in leadership positions both in Germany and at EU level. In Germany, only about 29 percent of leadership positions are held by women, and the proportion of female founders is only 20 percent. Particularly in the industries represented at Messe München’s trade fairs – from the construction industry to real estate to German mechanical engineering – fewer women are visible proportionally. The “Frauen-Verbinden” network aims to make women from various industries more visible and to connect them across sectors.

It is a fact that trade fairs offer a unique platform for direct communication and networking. However, successful networking requires access to suitable opportunities and experience. Therefore, “Frauen-Verbinden” utilizes various formats, including the “Female Leaders Breakfast,” to facilitate conversations among women in leadership positions during ongoing trade fairs. Additionally, positioning women as experts on panels or as keynote speakers at selected fairs contributes to their visibility.

Studies by major economic consulting firms confirm:

  • A higher proportion of women in leadership positions promotes the growth and business success of a company, thus positively impacting business development.
  • Gender diversity is an important factor for the profitability of companies.
  • Women enrich corporate culture with their specific perspective and personal style.

(Source: AUMA newsletter article “Frauen aus Industrien sichtbarer machen”, 10th of January 2024)

Under the leadership of an experienced female executive, TEST Berlin has fostered a corporate culture that promotes equal opportunities. Large portions of our employees are women who are encouraged through training opportunities to fulfil their potential. Initiatives like “Frauen-Verbinden” give hope that our company will soon no longer be the exception. The German trade fair industry can serve as a role model and actively support female leaders to demonstrate how women enrich the economy.