Events volunteering: an exploration of women's experiences at contemporary events
(2014) Events volunteering: an exploration of women's experiences at contemporary events, no. 74.
This research was exploring the subject of the experiences of women in events volunteering. The topic of volunteering is one that has been extensively studied previously (Choi and Jing-Ann Chou 2010; Holmstrom 2006; Musick and Wilson 2007), There are also existing literature studies on the benefits of volunteering to graduates (Anonymous 2013) and women and work (Barrett and Davidson 2006), however the main gap that appeared in the literature is around women and event volunteering. There is continuing growth in the Events Industry and therefore the need for volunteers to assist with the smooth running of events. This research was to find out if there was any correlation between gender, age, type of event and motive for volunteering. This study would expand the knowledge of Events volunteering from a woman's perspective. Interviews were conducted with a group of women across a vast age range (18-84). These women were selected using the snowball sampling method and had differing experiences across a wide range of Event type. The interviews were conducted using semi structured interview techniques. The results were looked at using inductive thematic analysis to draw out similarities from collected data. Extensive reading of the existing literature around events volunteering was carried out also. The literature review highlights the historical links between volunteering and women, looking at previous roles and motives of volunteering, contemporary aims and purposes, while acknowledging how gender has an effect on the general experience. Related topics such as the progression of women in the workplace and the general benefits of volunteering are also discussed in order to gain understanding of how all aspects of the research are connected. The research demonstrated that motives in volunteering were specific to age, not gender and that gender roles and communication styles aligned with the literature read. The younger age group was wishing mainly to enhance CV's and the older generation wished to give back to community. The results from the study are of significance for informing Event planning in the future. These results may improve targeting of a volunteer group specific to an event or role and therefore improve methods of recruitment, training and retention of volunteers.