Unlocking Potential: Strategies for Advancing Women into Business Event Leadership Roles

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Join us for a dynamic and thought-provoking session where industry experts explore pressing questions on overcoming barriers to gender equality in the business events sector. Leveraging key findings from research PCMA has conducted in partnership with BESydney and in association with PwC, this session will delve into the critical areas of urgency, boldness, and innovation, addressing the challenges and opportunities that can drive meaningful change within the industry. Gain actionable insights that contribute to advancing gender equality in the business events sector, shaping a more inclusive and equitable future.

This session was recorded live at Convening Leaders 2024

Learning Objectives:

·      Strategic Urgency and Bold Action: Understand the strategic importance of urgency and boldness in fostering gender equality within the business events industry and identify practical actions to expedite progress.

·      Innovative Leadership and Global Perspective: Explore how industry leaders can set an innovative example, challenge the status quo, and apply a global perspective at the local level to advance gender equality, promoting diverse voices and ideas.

·      Organizational Change and Inclusive Events: Gain insights into key impact factors such as top-level endorsement, measurement, and mid-tier pipelines for meaningful change. Understand how organizations can prioritize internal introspection to enhance diversity, support women’s advancement, and discover strategies for ensuring inclusivity on conference and event stages.

Course Information

Estimated Time: 60 min

CMP Credit Hours:

Course Domains:

Tammy Moore Kockaya, CMP, CMM

Tammy Moore Kockaya, CMP, CMM, is Senior Director, Product Innovation for PCMA. She guides the professional development and educational course offerings across PCMA and the Event Leadership Institute in this role. She has been a leader in the events industry for 20+ years as an in-house corporate event professional, from her start as a meeting planner with CEB (now Gartner) to leading a 20+ team of meeting and event professionals with KPMG LLP. Before the events industry, Tammy worked in higher education as a student affairs professional with the University of Maryland College Park. As a result, she has a depth of experience driving complex projects and strategic initiatives, developing relationships with stakeholders and vendors, and developing talent.

Tammy joined the Event Leadership Institute in January 2021 as a freelance consultant executing projects and initiatives, developing strategic partnerships, and building the business development function. She was elevated to Chief Strategy & Growth Officer in 2022, prior to ELI’s acquisition by PCMA in January 2023. In addition, she hosts and moderates panel discussions for monthly webinars and ELI Summits, speaks and facilitates workshops on change management, resilience, transitioning from the tactical into the strategic, and team leadership.

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Wanda Johnson

Wanda Johnson is the Chief Executive Officer at the American Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN), starting this role in January 2019.  ASPEN has close to 6,000 members, a staff of 23, and an annual budget of almost $6M.  

Prior to joining ASPEN, Wanda had a successful 26-year career with the Endocrine Society and was most recently Chief Program Officer managing the Education, Science, and Professional Development Department, which was responsible for education programs, including an annual meeting & expo, ENDO, meeting logistics, patient education resources, and professional development, including diversity & inclusion, trainee, and early career activities.    

Wanda has a long history of volunteering for professional organizations including the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives (CESSE), Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), and the African American Education and Research Organization (AAERO).  She has served on numerous committees for these organizations and was a Board Member of PCMA (2012-2015) and is a current Board Member of CESSE and AAERO.

Throughout her career, Wanda has been a speaker, moderator, and planner of educational activities designed to give back to the profession. She regularly participates in professional education opportunities to support her strong belief in lifelong learning.  

She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland University College in Paralegal Studies / Management Studies and received her CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) designation in 1995 and her CAE (Certified Association Executive) designation in 2009. She was named a Fellow of the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions (ACEhp) in 2012.   In 2018, Ms. Johnson was named Meeting Professional of the Year by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Foundation. 

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Lyn Lewis-Smith

Lyn Lewis-Smith is CEO of BESydney and leads a global team of professionals spanning Europe, North America and Asia who are charged with securing global meetings of strategic, economic and social benefit to Sydney, Australia. The organisation works across sectors which include infrastructure, technology, professional services, advanced manufacturing, education and health. 

Lyn has led transformation globally, passionately advocating for Australian business, scientific and cultural achievements on the world stage. She received the Destination International’s Humanitarian Award for her co-authored and published research, with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Business School, into the social legacies of hosting international business events: Determining Business Events Legacies beyond the Tourism spend.  

An experienced non-executive director in chair and member roles on boards and committees, she is a Fellow of the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Adjunct Professor and Co-Chair of the UTS Business School, Director of Committee for Sydney, the Women’s Resilience Centre and Asia Pacific Chair of DestinationNEXT.  

Lyn is a strong advocate for the advancement and professional development of women in all facets of leadership in Australia. In 2018, she Co-Chaired the Global Summit of Women held in Sydney and is a Women in Leadership Ambassador for the UTS Business School, a member of the International Women’s Forum Australia and a Minerva Network Mentor.

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Lindsay Williams

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