Today I picked up a local newspapers and found an article about what may happen in 2017. With Clinton (USA), May (UK), Sturgeon (Scotland) and Merkel (Germany) potentially all in power at the same time and the possibility of a woman being elected as the new United Nations Secretary General, women appear unstoppable and we can only rejoice at that!
What would we ask of them if this possibility came true? Better still, what difference do we think that having a group of powerful females as head of states and powerful institutions would make to the world and the way we live?
As a woman, I believe that the following should be considered as the most important priorities by females in power and focused on:
- Education for all girls
- Putting a stop to violence on women
- Economic empowerment of women for greater social justice
- Greater number of women on boards and generally in senior and influential roles throughout the corporate world
- Childcare and greater flexible working (to ensure number 4 can actually happen)
- Eliminating the gender pay gap.
Now, if we make a parallel with the travel and tourism industry, if more women were in charge of big corporations, were leading their own businesses, were sitting on boards of travel and tourism companies…what would we expect of them and how would the industry change?
I can only talk on the basis of my experience and the anecdotal (if substantial) evidence that comes from having spoken to hundreds of women over many years of working with and for women in the sector, but this would be my suggested list of priorities:
- Childcare and greater flexibility in the work place
- Greater number of women on boards and generally in senior and influential roles
- Creating a supportive and collaborative environment, free of biases and gender stereotyping so women can feel confident and continue to progress
- Equality of pay across the board
- Personal and professional development opportunities, mentoring, sponsorships and more.
This is possibly not an exhaustive list, but I would think it is a good start.
As we come together in London during WTM to meet, discuss and network at the 3rd Women in Travel Meetup there will be more opportunities to debate what the priorities are for women in travel and tourism in the 21st century. I invite you not only to join us, but to begin to engage with the discussion by sending me your feedback and also leave your comments here. I look forward to hearing from you!