Opinion: IMEX's Pink Hour 'insensitive' and 'demeaning'

The O2's head of corporate sales Becci Thomson has spoken out against IMEX's decision to name its women's networking event 'Pink Hour'.

Opinion: IMEX's Pink Hour 'insensitive' and 'demeaning'
Opinion: IMEX's Pink Hour 'insensitive' and 'demeaning'

Following IMEX Group's announcement that it will launch a women's networking hour at this week's Frankfurt trade show called 'Pink Hour', Thomson writes exclusively for C&IT arguing that it reduces women to an "outdated, demeaning stereotype."


The press release issued by IMEX Group states:

"All women in the events industry are cordially invited to the first Pink Hour @ IMEX on Wednesday, 17 May, 2017, at 1600 hours at the tw-stand G180. IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer and tw editor-in-chief Kerstin Wünsch will be present and are looking forward to exchanging ideas with anyone who comes along. Everyone who wears a fun pink accessory will be particularly welcome."


"In the days where we are seeing more and more support for ‘un-gendered’ achievements and success, awards for acting and clothing for example, this idea for a Pink Hour at IMEX appears to be an outdated initiative. It only reinforces the stereotypes we work so hard to challenge. Why is the networking event named Pink Hour and why does the accessory have to be pink? Why do people need to be subjected to wearing pink to join, and thereby not expressing individuality, but conforming to an outdated stereotype?

"It is incredibly insensitive and demeaning to women to suggest that they should wear pink to a networking event which will likely discuss some important and sensitive issues. I will always support an event or initiative that is geared towards inspiring, encouraging and empowering women in the industry, and I recognise the need to look into how women are feeling, but the execution of this particular networking event and encouraging pink is sexist and goes against issues that the study highlights. I’m also sure that if a Blue Hour networking event for men was introduced during which they had to wear a blue accessory, they would also consider it incredibly sexist and degrading.

"It will be very interesting to see the response to this particular initiative in terms of the number of women that attend and whether they do indeed turn up wearing pink. There are other credible initiatives such as Fast Forward 15, which are doing great work in raising the profile of women and inspiring them to further success. Women need championing in the industry, not reducing to an outdated, demeaning stereotype."

IMEX Group was contacted for comment.

Do you agree? Get in touch with C&IT and share your thoughts by either emailing us at cit@haymarket.com, tweeting us at @citmagazine or leaving a comment below.

• For more breaking news, in-depth features and case studies, sign up to C&IT Magazine's daily Newstracker here

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
Helicopters over Hawai'i - the best venues, hotels and activities

Helicopters over Hawai'i - the best venues, hotels and activities

A six-day account of aerial adventures across Kaua'i, O'ahu and Hawai'i in A Diary of a Delegate.

TRO appoints two experiential specialists

TRO appoints two experiential specialists

Agency welcomes Sulmaan Ahmad as head of strategy and Simon Patel as creative director.

'Push the boundaries - if someone says something can't be done, I'll find a solution'

'Push the boundaries - if someone says something can't be done, I'll find a solution'

A-List 2019: Matt Culverhouse, chief executive of TEN6 Creative.

In pictures: IMEX 2019

In pictures: IMEX 2019

The annual industry gathering took place from 21-23 May at Messe Frankfurt in Germany.

TEN6 Creative brings in new client services director

TEN6 Creative brings in new client services director

Oliver Morgan joins agency after 10 years with Gold Key Media and will be 'instrumental' to continued growth.

'To hear Michelle Obama say we'd done a great job and get a hug was incredible'

'To hear Michelle Obama say we'd done a great job and get a hug was incredible'

A-List 2019: Kylie Davies, account director & general manager, emc3.

Behind the glitz at award ceremonies

Behind the glitz at award ceremonies

UKSV's Neil Coombes takes us through the planning and setup process for the AA Hospitality Awards

First New York location for etc.venues

First New York location for etc.venues

Venue specialist also adds Chancery Lane location to its London portfolio, with both to open later this year.

Case study: Lenovo Connect

Case study: Lenovo Connect

The technology giant's two-day event for 450 guests took place in London, organised by Jack Morton Worldwide.

Two new recruits for Sleek Events

Two new recruits for Sleek Events

Agency also plans fundraising sports day this summer for its new charity partner Meeting Needs.

LATEST JOBS