My working life by Miriam Sigler

Miriam Sigler, director of Ways & Means Events talks dying her hair black, the Labour Party and discovering events at an early age.

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Born and bred in London, I love the diversity and the excitement of living here.

 

I have a Colombian mother and a first-generation British- born father from German Jews. A bit of a mongrel is how I’d describe myself.

 

I always think that my creative side (and excessive use of hand gestures) comes from my Latin mother and the organisational side comes from the German family.

 

I went to college in Wimbledon where I studied design for theatre, film and television, which is where I realised I was far better at organising people than designing stuff.

 

It wouldn’t be legal today but I started working in events and exhibitions when I was 13. My dad got me some work experience with the Labour Party.

 

I had dreadlocks when I was 16. I have had every colour on the hair colour chart. My favourite was when I had black hair and a blue/green peacock feather going across my hair.

 

The day before my A-Level art exam was the 1997 election and I was involved in organising the party at the Royal Festival Hall.

 

I remember walking back over the bridge with my dad, having not slept all night and then going to college to finish my exam.

 

When it was time to spread my wings and fly, I worked for Worker’s Beer Company installing beer tents at all the major festivals.

 

I joined Clarion in 2007 to run the ops for the Financial Services portfolio. We were still based in Earls Court and it was a real community there. You had everything there at your fingertips.

 

One of the challenges in the industry that I feel really strongly about, is breakdown times and tenancy times. If you’ve got a show that’s for a three-day build for example, you need to allocate an appropriate amount of time for the breakdown.

 

I feel undue pressure is being placed on our hardworking contractors in order to shorten tenancy times and save money.

 

I like being hands on, I’m not one to sit back. Despite my ringtone, I’m not a 9-5 sort of person.

 

I always make sure that onsite I have a group of people I can trust, that have my back and I have theirs.

 

Gill Geens and I set up Ways & Means in 2012. We are complete and utter opposites in so many things, but it happened very naturally and just worked.

 

We have our own little systems in place. We are very process-driven, I get excited about excel spreadsheets and she loves a good form.

 

I love to cook. I’m currently having my kitchen fitted. It started out as a bathroom remodel but somehow it’s turned into the whole house being renovated.

 

The idea of Network Under the Stars came about when Jen Booth and I, along with various other women in the industry, noticed that most of the social events are very male-orientated.

 

Last year’s sleepover did receive a bit of backlash because it’s a women-only event but it’s not about that. It’s about it supporting, championing and helping develop talent that may not necessarily push themselves forward into the mix.

 

I’m so looking forward to hearing Harriet Minter speak. She started the Guardian Women in Leadership initiative.

 

As someone who gets up and does things herself, I love her message. If you want to change something, you have to do it. You can’t wait for someone else to.

 

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