Women In Live Music (WILM) is hosting a lounge in Hall 7 at ISE 2022. We chatted to its CEO, Malle Kaas, about the organisation and its plans.
What is Women In Live Music and what does it do?
WILM is a European platform for women working with live events. Among the people who work various roles backstage, less than 5% are women or from other minorities.
We have learned that a community like WILM motivates and inspires the few women in the industry, which helps keep them in the industry. It also helps the live event industry to find a more diverse crew. Furthermore, we organise events and workshops for our members to increase their skills and opportunities to succeed.
Now that the live events sector is recovering, will all your members return to it?
It looks like it. Overall we’re seeing big gaps across Europe, where male colleagues have left the industry. However, many of our members are benefitting from this and grabbing the opportunities that occur because of these gaps. However, we are still far from being more than 10% women backstage; I reckon that will take another five to 10 years.
WILM will have a lounge in Hall 7 at ISE 2022. What are you looking to do there?
We hope to encourage more women to come to the tradeshow by offering them a ‘safe space’ where they can hang out and connect with other women. It can be pretty intimidating to enter a trade show on your own when you are a woman, especially if you are a newcomer to the industry. But I do hope that both exhibitors and male guests will visit the lounge and learn more about the industry from a woman’s perspective.
Tell us about the discussion panel that you’re planning to host there.
We are looking to organise a panel with the topic ‘Where are the women in the R&D and sales departments?’ We asked a bunch of manufacturers this question years ago, and we got the same answer everywhere: ‘We would love to hire more women in our more technical departments. However, we don’t get any applications from women.’ A few manufacturers do have women in those departments, but it is still a very low percentage. We would like to discuss how we can turn this around.