Company executives heading to the Mipim international real estate event in Cannes have been warned against misbehaving after concerns over misconduct at high-profile events.
The annual Mipim property show draws thousands of developers, construction firms, architects and government officials to the four-day event held on the luxurious shores of the French Riviera.
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Billed as the “the world’s leading property market” corporate anxiety of misconduct claims at this year’s event come after allegations emerged last month that thousands of sex workers flock to event each year.
The male-dominated event has also been plagued by accusations by female attendees who say they have been victims of sexual abuse, harassment, and drunken behaviour.
In the run up to the event, companies issued warnings to employees that cases of misconduct would not be tolerated at this year’s event, held from 13 March to 16 March.
The company warnings:
Event organisers Reed Exhibitions Midem responded to allegations that sex workers attended the event’s opening reception last year.
Under no circumstances does Mipim register prostitutes.
The Royal Institute of British Architects also warned members that they take misconduct cases “extremely seriously” and strongly condemn any form of sexual harassment or discrimination.
We are aware of reports regarding inappropriate behaviour at MIPIM in previous years. We have strict requirements for our members through our codes of professional conduct.
UK event organisers Pipers Events, who coordinate the event’s London Stand also said in a letter to delegates that inappropriate behaviour would not be acceptable this year, and said employees had been trained to deal firmly with any such cases.
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Pipers Events said:
We know the built environment professions have traditionally been male dominated and we take the issue of inappropriate behaviour across the industry incredibly seriously.
Pipers is also signatory to the See The Elephant campaign, launched by The London Festival of Architecture to tackle sexism — the elephant in the room — following a string of scandals including Las Vegas showgirls attending last year’s UK Construction Week.
Launching ahead of Mipim, the campaign calls on the architecture industry to stamp out sexual discrimination in all its forms and places.
Spearheaded by London Festival of Architecture director Tamsie Thomson, the campaign urged delegates to wear elephant badges to show they are on board with rejecting acts of sexual misconduct.
Why it matters:
Cannes, the idyllic city known as Europe’s Silicon Valley is filled with clusters of high-tech gated communities and is teeming with executives famed for their work-hard play-hard work ethic, and debauched parties fuelled by drugs and sex.
The event is also held on the backdrop of the #MeToo and Time’s up movements currently taking social media by storm, responding to perceived widespread prevalence of sexual misconduct, particularly in the workplace.
In a recent Financial Times report, hostesses at a men-only fundraising dinner in London were reported groped, sexually harassed and propositioned at the Presidents Club men-only dinner.
A large number of the men who attended the dinner work in the property industry.