I attended the Ecobuild exhibition at The Excel for the first time yesterday. I have been to other trade and networking events in the past and I thought I had a pretty good idea what to expect. I had planned my visit beforehand, knew all the stalls that I wanted to engage with and what I wanted to bring away from the event, so when I set off from home I was full of confidence and enthusiasm.
Even on the DLR, while I was squished in my little corner observing the suited men with their big briefcases I didn’t make the connection that they were all heading to same place I was and as we all merged on the walkway towards the entrance I actually found myself thinking ‘I wonder what other event is on today, surely we can’t all be attending Ecobuild?’
Having printed my visitor pass in advance I confidently strode through the welcome gate into the arena and was immediately struck by the disproportionate ratio of men to women. Now I don’t know why this surprised me, as the various industries collaborating in the built environment are traditionally male dominated, but I assumed the tide had turned further than the sea of suited men I was looking at.
Feeling a little deflated and I have to say intimidated (only by my own doing), I immersed myself in the crowd. Slowly I began to notice that there was actually a strong presence of women, subtly and gently integrated. Still not nearly enough representation, but definitely a strong presence. I smiled to myself, took a deep breath and headed for the (man) attending the first stand on my list; if these women can do it, so can I.
#internationalwomensday #iwd2018 #ecobuild2018