Women make up a high percentage of the travel industry globally – somewhere between 50 and 80 percent; yet, there still seems to be a feeling that many women struggle to reach their full potential in their careers.
Personally, it’s something I’ve always been vaguely aware of – in my first job, around 70 per cent of the staff were women. Yet, only very few of these had risen up to the highest levels and it was mainly men in the senior positions. I know the same to be true at various other companies across the board.
It’s not just in travel. The World Economic Forum’s recent index of nations for gender equality, estimated there won’t be gender equality for another 170 years. The UK was in 20thplace – behind countries such as Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Rwanda, Ireland, the Philippines, Slovenia, New Zealand, and Nicaragua. With so many inspirational women working in our industry, this general trend is worrying news.
Which is why it was so interesting to meet Alessandra Alonso, Founder of the Women in Travel Meetup (fittingly, at an event for members of The Association of Women Travel Executives) earlier this year. She told me about how she’s helping to empower women in the industry to reach key positions and, as a woman in a female dominated industry (both travel and PR!), I wanted to see how I could help.
We hit it off and the partnership between Rooster PR and the Women in Travel Meetup was born. Working closely with Alessandra to publicise the initiative has been an interesting and exciting journey and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive – from media coverage encouraging sign ups, to the packed room at the sold-out mentoring sessions and the buzz that erupted on social media during and after the sessions.
I think the tweets speak for themselves:
- “@Alessandra – your sessions were amazing! Inspired! Thank you all who participated. @WTMWomen @Sojern @RoosterPR #women #WTMLDN #wtm2016.” @DropMeAnywhere
- “This was an excellent panel of intelligent, hard-working, enterprising women! @wtmwomen #WTMLDN #wtm2016 #WTMLondon” @globalinctravel
I look forward to what 2017 will bring for the Women in Travel initiative.