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Women the ‘unsung heroes’ of business events: ICCA

Ten female leaders honoured at the 57th ICCA Congress this week.

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) celebrated the significant contributions of women to the meetings industry at their 57th congress in Dubai. Ten women across the association’s global community were personally honoured by ICCA president, Nina Freysen-Pretorius.

Freysen-Pretorius, the second female ICCA president, has been in the role for four years and finishes her tenure in 2018. Keen to her gratitude to industry partners, and to champion the achievements of women in business events, she called ICCA members to nominate women they consider to be ‘unsung heroes’, leaders, innovators, pioneers and advocates.

Each woman was chosen for their dedication to the ICCA community and the meetings industry, as well as for exhibiting the values and actions that the association encourages and upholds.

Freysen-Pretorius presented an award to each ‘Inspirational ICCA Women’ during her President’s Choice session on November 12. The winners are:

  • Alice Au, Business Events Toronto, Canada
  • Anne Wallin Rodven, Honorary Member, Norway
  • Bettina Reventlow-Mourier, Wonderful Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Carina Bauer, IMEX Group, UK
  • Joyce Wittelaar, Rotterdam Partners-Convention Bureau, The Netherlands
  • Kitty Wong, K&A International Co., Ltd, Chinese Taipei
  • Maria José Alves, Cascais Convention Bureau, Portugal
  • Nonnie Kubeka, Gauteng Convention Bureau, South Africa
  • Roslyn McLeod, Arimex Pty Ltd (INCON Group), Australia
  • Ulrike von Arnold, Vienna Convention Bureau, Austria

ICCA Interim CEO, Dennis Speet, says: “We all know women amongst our industry colleagues who go above and beyond to share their time, expertise and energy in supporting ICCA’s many initiatives and member opportunities. Without them, we would not be able to provide such a nurturing, welcoming environment for our global membership.

“Too often, the achievements of women in our international and diverse industry go unmentioned; I am proud today to represent our association as we honour these 10 fantastic women for their monumental support and work to further our association’s values. Congratulations to our Inspirational ICCA Women. We owe them a large part of our continued success.”

Freysen-Pretorius added: “Through my role as ICCA president, I have continuously sought to champion and encourage the achievements of women in business events. Gender equality in the workplace globally remains a challenge, with unequal opportunities and remuneration packages a reality. Without female role models and champions seen as leaders, presidents and activists as examples, women will not be able to take their rightful place in society at different levels.”

The 2018 ICCA Congress was held on November 11-14, 2018 in Dubai. The largest edition of the event held outside of Europe, the congress hosted 1,156 delegates from 79 countries.