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According to research from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), women represent about 54% of employment in the travel industry worldwide, yet very few occupy more strategic or senior-level roles. Now, with its first female president and CEO at the helm, WTTC is seeking to change that through its new Women Initiative.
“The pledge made today with the launch of the first Women Initiative in Travel & Tourism by a combination of the private, public and academic sectors to work towards women’s equality, marks a significant step forward,” said Gloria Guevara, president and CEO of WTTC, at the organization’s Global Summit in Cancun, which was held this week.
“Globally, women have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, which has exacerbated the pay gap, the opportunity gap and the shocking lack of senior positions and leadership roles across the travel and tourism sector,” she added.
As part of the initiative, several leaders in the travel and tourism industry signed the WTTC Cancun Women Declaration, committing themselves to the promotion of diversity and inclusion by removing barriers toward women’s growth in the industry, ensuring fair treatment and encouraging greater financial, professional and social independence.
More tangible goals include the private sector’s pledge to increase female representation in leadership positions by 30-50% and work toward increasing their representation in board levels and C-suites by a third, all by the year 2030. The private sector has also committed to reducing pay gaps, implementing gender diverse slate requirement for all open roles. Women who have already reached senior-level positions will also have the opportunity to build up other women in the field through formal sponsorship and mentorship programs. For the sake of transparency and ensuring that these goals are met, annual progress reports and action plans will be published publicly.
Companies would be more profitable if more women were in positions of power and boardrooms were less homogenous and reflected the diversity of their customers.
“Change happens much quicker when it comes from the top,” said tennis player Martina Navratilova, who attended the event and helped announce the Women Initiative. “Companies would be more profitable if more women were in positions of power and boardrooms were less homogenous and reflected the diversity of their customers,” she added.
Beyond the announcement of this first-of-its-kind initiative for WTTC, the Global Summit was also the first in-person, large-scale travel and tourism industry event since the pandemic’s outbreak forced many events to cancel or go virtual. The Women’s Initiative was just one puzzle piece within the event’s overall theme: Uniting the World for Recovery.
The DetailsWorld Travel and Tourism Councilwww.wttc.org