Women in Travel CIC, the social enterprise dedicated to empowering women though employability and entrepreneurship in the travel and tourism industry, has announced its first International Women in Travel & Tourism Forum will take place January 23-24 2020 in Iceland, a country leading in gender equality. Iceland’s First Lady, Eliza Reid, will be the event’s keynote speaker.
Developed in partnership with Promote Iceland, Carnival UK and PEAK DMC, the inaugural event will be held at the Radisson Blu Saga Hotel in Reykjavik in Iceland and will be attended by a mixture of private and public sector travel, hospitality and tourism industry trailblazers.
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Unlike other events tackling gender imbalance in the workplace, delegates must attend in a duo: to qualify, an executive-level senior leader must pledge to attend with and host a next-generation female colleague.
• Learn about global approaches to gender diversity and inclusion
• Understand the needs/aspirations of next gen female leaders
• Take away practical tools to implement ‘at home’
• Network with broader, global industry
Event organisers expect to attract 60 industry chiefs and 60 next-generation female professionals from across the globe who are passionate about sharing, learning, challenging and furthering their understanding of diversity and inclusion.
Alessandra Alonso, founder of Women in Travel (CIC) explains how the Forum came into being: “At World Travel Market 2018, I chaired a panel debate celebrating the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage. Iceland’s First Lady Eliza Reid was a panellist, along with Jo Philipps of Carnival UK and Zina Bencheikh of Peak DMC. A key issue discussed was the need to get women and men in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry together to better articulate their vision of a gender-inclusive industry that will meet the talent and leadership requirements of the 21st century. Those panellists are working with Women in Travel to take that vision forward. More details will be announced soon, so those interested should save the date and get in touch to register their interest.”
Inga Hlín Pálsdóttir, Director, Visit Iceland at Promote Iceland, adds: “Iceland has long been acknowledged as a leader in gender equality. We are delighted to host this first International Women in Travel & Tourism Forum. There is no doubt in my mind that women have played a major role in the success of Icelandic tourism. Everywhere you look you’ll find powerful women who have stepped forward and taken an active part in this industry; whether it’s in the public, private or third sector. I am looking forward to sharing our learnings and experiences with our international peers at the Forum in January.”
For PEAK DMC’s Managing Director Natalie Kidd, the international focus of the Forum is critical: “The global reach of PEAK DMC means we have an incredible opportunity to create economic opportunities for women through tourism. This is particularly important in countries where women have been traditionally excluded from paid work, such as Morocco or Cambodia. We’ve seen first-hand the positive impacts of putting measures in place to better empower our female staff and suppliers around the world, and the Forum will present the chance to not only share our learnings, but to learn from other industry leaders.”
Jo Phillips concludes: “Carnival UK is really excited about being part of the first International Women in Travel & Tourism Forum. It’s going to be a great opportunity to do some collective thinking around how we can unblock access for diverse talent to thrive in our industry.
“At Carnival UK, we’re committed to creating an inclusive community where employee experience is personalised and where all feel valued and have a sense of belonging. We’re looking forward to sharing ideas and strategies with other international companies committed to doing the same.”