The Launch of the Women First Initiatve
Cherie speaking at the Launch
Working in the Tourism Industry
Despite the fact that Women make up 59% of the two million strong workforce in the Hospitality Leisure Travel and Tourism sector, they are chronically under represented both in positions of senior management and in the board room.
On the 14th of October Cherie attended the launch of the Women's 1st initiative at the Lanesborough Hotel in Central London. Women 1st is a campaign by People 1st the Government's sector skills council for leisure, hospitality, travel and tourism.
Women 1st was established in response to the stark realities of the gender imbalance at the top level of the industry. Despite the fact that Women make up 59% of the two million strong workforce in the Hospitality Leisure Travel and Tourism sector, they are chronically under represented both in positions of senior management and in the board room. Although women account for 60% of the graduate entrants into the sector, and are well represented at mid management level, less than 6% of the sector's boards are female, versus a national average of 12% across all FTSE 100 boards. In hospitality, the number of females working in any management role actually fell by 3% between 2005 and 2008. Women 1st is seeking to address these unacceptable imbalances by developing networks of mentoring and network support combined with programmes to equip potential female leaders with the skills and confidence they need to succeed in what is still a male dominated industry.
Cherie delivered the key note address at the launch, to a group of over 100 hundred women from the HLTT sector. The speech covered a range of topics from her own experiences of the travel industry and sexual discrimination to the important role mentoring will play in the work of her own charity.
Alongside her on the panel were Rhonda Floyd, the Senior Customer Service executive at McDonalds, who spoke about her own experience of gender discrimination; after returning from maternity leave to find out that a promotion she had been expecting had been given to her temporary replacement. Sharon Glancey, one of the People 1st staff behind the initiative also spoke about the details of the programme. Both speakers gave a valuable insight into the challenges faced by women trying to reach the top of the profession and also the opportunities available, especially with respect to the many new initiative's which are being spearheaded by Women 1st.
For more about Women 1st Click here
For coverage in Caterer Magazine Click here
For the Times online coverage click here
For coverage in The Publican Click here