Is time up on men-only business events?

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Media caption The way the Presidents Club scandal unfolded

A scandal surrounding a men-only charity dinner where hostesses were apparently groped has elevated questions about all-male business occasions – and whether they have a put in place the 21st century.

Are all-male gatherings – in which the only women are hired hostesses – acceptable if they raise necessary funds for charity?

Scores of politicians and company leaders say no .

Jo Swinson, deputy leader from the Liberal Democrats, said the Presidents Club dinner for 300 wealthy businessmen was proof of a “rotten, sexist culture” in parts of the business enterprise community.

And Helen Miller, chair of the women and equalities committee, said businesses were having to pay “lip service to equality issues” by still holding men-only occasions.

Widespread outrage

The female reporter who also went undercover at the Presidents Membership dinner at London’s Dorchester Resort has told how she as well as other women were “groped” at the occasion.

But she furthermore said some women have found jobs by means of working at the annual gala , which ran for 33 yrs before the organisers closed it upon Wednesday following widespread outrage.

Some defend events that will encourage high-level networking by males – as long as women are given exactly the same opportunity.

Sue Noffke, a fund manager at resource management firm Schroders, said men-only events still have a place in an more and more diverse City – as do these for women.

“I’m certain there are men-only events that have excellent agendas and motivations, ” the lady said.

The lady said single-sex forums gave individuals a space where they can “speak away about issues” without being judged.

“I’ve gone to women-only meals to talk exactly about the diversity system and how to empower women – those people are good things. ”

But she said the habits alleged at the Presidents Club dinner time was “set apart” from genuine charitable and industry dinners.

Courtney Stanley, an events organiser coupled with women’s rights activist, told BBC Radio cassette 5 live’s Wake Up To Dough that there was “value” in events for men – particularly if they raise funds for agreement.

But she known between genuine philanthropy and “dirty dollars”.

“Women [at the Presidents’ Club Dinner] were explicitly objectified for the sole purpose of male potential clients having a good enough time that even they would crack open their bono books a little bit wider, ” your woman said.

Many creates with the inclusion of Great Ormond Street Hospital have said they will hand support money received from the Presidents Collaboration, which claims to have raised £ 20m for children’s charities.

Below the radar

On top of its website significant which makes no mention of the charity’s coming up closure – the Presidents Holding claims to bring together “esteemed members the investment, real estate, sports, entertainment, electric motor industry and fashion” worlds in its events.

It also does not mention that the annual dinner the particular organises is men-only – that’s increasingly rare in today’s business world, as outlined by Prof Marianne Lewis, dean including City University London’s Cass Businesses School.

Those men-only events that do occur are professional, largely below the radar and usually to take place because of pre-existing gender imbalance, your ex said.

“What’s more likely is that an event is all-male because there aren’t enough women for top levels – whether it is consume at a bar, golfing on a the game. ”

Prof Lewis, who was able her career in academia the united states in the 1990s, insisted there was “no need” for a charity dinner toward explicitly exclude women.

“I hope I’m not being illegal to men, but do they must have safe space? They have such assets at this point, ” she said.

Drink-fuelled evenings where a girl are not invited are much more likely to strongly encourage sexist behaviour, said Anne Francke, chief executive of the Chartered Management Commence.

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Media caption Labour MP Jess Philips: ‘Lads’ culture has no place in country’

“We know there is widespread incompatible behaviour towards women in the workplace, alone she told BBC News. “All of the people who attended should have considered that before they walked by means of that door. ”

Entrepreneur Griselda Togobo said all-male events were simply “not all-around business”.

“If virtually any organisation has an exclusive dinner effortlessly men, with women being used considering that objects to be played with, that is not sales – that is something totally different, very well she said.

Defending women-only events

Defenders of women-only marketing web events say they can help lend women a boost in a competitive work place – and help redress the important gender imbalance of industries took over by men.

Microsoft Togobo, an engineer-turned chartered computer, founded Forward Ladies, a group when organises networking events and coaching for males, in 1999.

She talked about women-only networking groups address all the “pretty urgent” issue of getting ladies in top jobs.

Image copyright Griselda Togobo
Image caption Griselda Togobo: All male-events are “not business – that is something in its entirety different”

“When you’re the only female having a board of 15 men, the actual only female in a company using 200 men, they are important, inches she said.

“An all-female environment gives them which in turn safety net, then they can go off and perform other things. ”

Your wife said “more men named John” head FTSE companies than most of.

“It’s not an issue that may be laissez-faire”, she said.

Prof Lewis, who runs a world women’s networking forum for alumni and students, is a “fervent believer” in giving women the opportunity to congregate.

“There’s something about a all-women event that quickly gets to more personal, with a higher level of conversation, ” she said.

“As long as women happen to be in the minority in top roles, they have to get a ‘safe space’ to talk about questions.

“I i hope some day that doesn’t need to be the case, even though it’s important now, ” she special.