‘Don’t use showgirls to sell roof tiles’

Las Vegas Easy Trim standImage copyright
London Festival of Architecture

One of the UK’s largest industry exhibitions can be issuing a completely new code of conduct over the use of “promo girls”.

Last year, UK Construction Week, held at Birmingham’s NEC, faced criticism over the use of lightly clad women to staff an exhibitor’s stall.

the idea featured Las Vegas-style showgirls selling roofing products.

Criticism of sexism at business in addition to sports events has grown following the Financial Times’ report into the President’s Club ball last month.

Since then, promoters of darts championships in addition to Formula One have said they will no longer use lightly dressed young women to adorn their events.

yet some sectors are still using women in revealing outfits.

Last week, the idea emerged some women working at the ICE Totally Gaming event were wearing “little more than swimsuits”, while men wore smart suits.

Others insist the practice can be an intrinsic part of the way they do things.

‘Hot pants’

UK Construction Week attracts more than 0 exhibitors in addition to attracts more than 35,000 people every October.

The industry in recent years has run campaigns highlighting diversity within the industry in addition to employed strategies to attract women into construction professions in order to plug skills gaps.

The sight of the show girls at the October 2017 event prompted one visitor to the show to ask: “How many hot pants do you need?”

today the show can be introducing guidelines on diversity, equality in addition to inclusion in addition to a code of conduct for exhibitors, including on the design in addition to staffing of stands, as well as the clothing worn.

the idea also warns that will if an exhibitor’s stand theme can be deemed inappropriate or doesn’t comply with its equality, diversity in addition to inclusion policy, they may not be permitted to open their stand at the event.

The completely new guide urges exhibitors to “Consider the mix of staff you have on the stand (gender, age, ethnicity etc). Do they represent the diversity of your company, in addition to if not, be prepared to explain why not?”

Nathan Garnett, event director of UK Construction Week, told the BBC the Las Vegas-themed stand was a one-off: “We had standard guidelines. We understand the idea was a mistake, yet we’ve turned the idea in to a positive.

“The company in question has apologised for what’s happened. The theme of the stand was ‘Why gamble?’ yet the idea went too far.”


A growing number of events in addition to how they treat women are attracting closer scrutiny.

The annual show for the international property industry, Mipim, which can be held in Cannes each year, can be facing accusations of being a sexist in addition to male-dominated event.

Several women I have spoken to have described the event as “uncomfortable” in addition to “laddish”, that has a tradition of heavy drinking at parties on yachts in addition to at hotels.

Local sex workers allegedly used the conference’s Twitter hashtag to attract customers at last year’s event, yet a spokesman for Mipim strongly denied accusations that will prostitutes had actually attended last year’s conference.

He said: “Under no circumstances does Mipim register prostitutes” at the event.

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