Oxford Brookes Business School

Second launch of the Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure 2020 Review

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

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On Wednesday 27th February, Oxford Brookes Business School (OBBS) students, staff and industry leaders in the Hospitality, Travel and Leisure (HTL) sector gathered at the Brookes restaurant for the Launch of the Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure 2020 Report - 2019 Edition.

On 27th February we held our second launch of the Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure 2020 Review - 2019 edition in the stunning campus of Oxford Brookes in the presence of Hospitality Management course students and industry leaders. Momentum is growing and while the gap between companies performing well and those that aren't is widening, it is also clear that more and more employers understand that diverse and inclusive businesses engage with customers and perform better. Download the report and join the WiH2020 collaboration platform

Tea Colaianni, Founder and Chair WiH2020

The event began with a welcome from OBBS Pro Vice-Chancellor & Dean, Chris Blackburn, before handing over to Tea Colaianni, Founder and Chair of WiH2020.

The presentation began with a short and inspiring video from Executives in the HTL sector, including Johan Lundgren, CEO at EasyJet, and Debbie Hewitt, Chair of the Board for the Restaurant Group speaking about the importance of diversity and inclusion for them and their businesses. This was followed by an explanation of the purpose of WiH2020, various on-going projects – including a brand new initiative ‘Comeback to HTL’  a Women Returners programme and the first-ever being undertaken in the industry and an overview of the Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure 2020 Report - 2019 Edition. It was also announced that over 50 of the biggest employers in the HTL sector, from wagamama to Hilton, have signed up to the Diversity in HTL Charter and are collaborating to share ideas on how to improve diversity and inclusion.

Elliott Goldstein, Partner at the MBS Group, presented research and data from the report. Some positive highlights included that 62.5% of FTSE HTL companies have 33% of women on their boards and that there are currently no all-men FTSE 350 HTL boards. However, Elliott emphasised the crucial need for change around diversity and inclusion, specifically when considering that only 1 in 33 HTL leaders come from BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) backgrounds.

After the presentation, Katie Horton, a third-year student at Oxford Brookes studying BSc in International Hospitality Management spoke about her dissertation, “It was the ‘Women in Corporate Britain' talk that Tea gave last year here at Brookes that really made me aware of the gender imbalance and the under-representation of women in the HTL.  This prompted me to look at the successful upward progression of women for my dissertation, with a focus on the personal and emotional barriers women face.

Tea then updated us on the progress made with the implementation of the initiatives by WiH2020, it showed that small changes make big differences and though we have not yet reached the target we have made admirable progression.  It was a truly inspirational and empowering night!”

The event concluded with an informative Q&A, chaired by Professor Simonetta Manfredi who commented “I had the privilege to be involved in the first WiH2020 review and I am amazed that so much progress has been made since then. This has clearly been driven by Tea’s passion and commitment and that of her colleagues to achieve positive change”

This was followed by drinks and networking.

You can download the Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure 2020 Report - 2019 Edition here.Diversity