Number of female travel trade directors booms in the UK

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The UK travel sector has seen a boom in the number of women in senior management roles in the past decade, according to the Association of Women Travel Executives (AWTE) “Women in Travel Empowerment Index”, which launched in London yesterday. female_exec

The cruise sector, which had 15% of its board of directors as female in 2005, has seen that figure rise to 29% in 2015.

Tour Operators too have seen an increase in female directors from 10% in 2005 to 20% in 2015.

The Women in Travel Empowerment index, a first of its kind in the industry, aims to monitor and highlight the role of women in senior and middle management positions in the sector. It was commissioned by the AWTE and compiled by the University of East London’s Business and Law School. The index saw statistics gathered from 12 major tour operators and cruise lines operating in the UK. A further seven in-depth interviews with senior female directors was also instigated as part of the study.

Other findings in the report reveal that while female executives agree that there are not enough women in senior roles within the travel industry, they are universally against quotas, whereby companies are forced to include a quantity of a gender on its board. The women respondents were in agreement that people should only be selected for board level roles on merit and not gender.

The report will be undertaken annually at the end of each year and will be available for download to members on the AWTE website.

Commenting on the report Debbee Dale, AWTE chair said: “There has not been any definitive study on the role of women in travel and so any debate has been based on anecdotes or gut feel. Our Empowerment Index will put some actual statistics against a more meaningful debate and the interviews will add real insight too. We intend now to undertake the survey annually to create a real benchmark for the role and influence of women in the travel sector.”

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