12.05.2017

IS IT TIME FOR A MORE LEVEL PLAYING FIELD OFF THE PITCH?

There are many recent studies that suggest a more balanced gender distribution in a company’s management impacts its profitability. Global consulting giant PwC’s ‘Women in Work Index’ puts the value of closing this gender gap at a cool $2 trillion!

And with Women now outnumbering men in almost two-thirds of UK University degrees according to The Guardian, this is bound to have a trickle-up effect from the graduates into our boardrooms.

So why then are so many hospitality experiences and sponsorship platforms still so male-dominated? Particularly for brands looking to recruit and retain female staff, should it not be a priority to move away from a strategy that focuses on Football, Rugby, and Cricket for example, and partner with more equal-opportunity sports and entertainment platforms?

This is not to say there should be segregation and specific experiences allocated for each gender; on the contrary! What this suggests is exploring properties more inclusive of all tastes will help brands in the long-run with more effective corporate entertainment campaigns. A global performance platform like Cirque du Soleil for example could provide an exciting, engaging yet neutral option, with a level of skill and adrenaline that can be appreciated by anyone, and still has ample opportunity to entertain in boxes and backstage bars alike.

Another strong example of a more inclusive sport is British Eventing. Whilst a dressage show on its own may not be everyone’s cup of tea, something like the Event Rider Masters series, which kicks off this weekend at Chatsworth, has something for everyone - the fast pace and excitement of cross country, the skill of show jumping and the art of dressage. With partners like Land Rover, SAP and St James’s Place Wealth on board for 2017, it’s clear there are large Global brands that see the value in engaging with and entertaining at series like this, whereby men and women compete on equal footing for equal prize money. The universal appeal tends to be reflected in its hospitality audiences, which include a much larger percentage of females and families than the more traditional hospitality platforms discussed above.

Therefore, as the UK manoeuvres its way through Brexit, if Thomson Reuters claims that ‘companies with greater numbers of women leaders fared better in periods of greater economic volatility’ is indeed true, then brands need to update their engagement tactics with C-suite executives. This elite group will more and more be made up of powerful women, who will need to be equally as interested in the invitations they receive as the men they share their boardroom with.

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