Women in Tourism Launch with Bid to Address Gender Imbalance in Tourism Sector

This morning Women In Tourism announced one of the first pieces of research into gender equality within the tourism sector across Scotland with the launch of a survey to those working across the industry. The survey is open to individuals at all levels across the tourism sector and seeks to gather thoughts and opinions on topics such as leadership opportunities, career development and remuneration.

Vitally important to the Scottish economy, this sector employs around 211,000i individuals across tourism-related businesses. In 2011 it was estimated that around 60% of those working within the tourism industry were female, with women accounting for only 6%ii of those in senior board positions, and four years later there is little evidence to suggest that this statistic has changed.

Following completion of Napier University’s Destination Leaders Programme, a group of Edinburgh-based women have come together to create Women In Tourism, a not-for-profit organisation which seeks to develop a framework of activity in recognition of the challenges and opportunities available to women within the sector.

Developed by a small Committee – including representatives from the Royal Yacht Britannia, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh Napier University, The Edinburgh Address, Smart Tourism, Premier Inn and Festivals Edinburgh – the initiative builds on inspiring, motivating, encouraging and supporting women within the sector, and will help underpin the Scottish Government’s long-term strategic ambition to ensure a 50/50 gender balance across Scottish’s private, public and third sector organisation’s by 2020.

Susan Russell, Co-founder and Chair of Women In Tourism, said:
“The 50:50 initiative is vitally important in developing and changing the gender balance in boardrooms across Scotland. Women In Tourism seeks to support this, while going one step further by motivating and supporting women into leadership positions across the sector. Much of our intelligence to date has been anecdotal and the announcement of today’s survey is to gather a strong evidence base to lobby for gender equality across the sector.”

The survey is available for completion at www.womenintourism.co.uk and will close on Friday 19th February 2016.

Susan continued: “Results of the survey will be published in early Spring along with further announcements on the next phase of development for Women In Tourism. It’s an exciting time to be part of Scotland’s tourism industry and we look forward to working with colleagues across the sector as we develop the project.”

1. For more information, please contact Susan Russell | susan@womenintourism.co.uk | 07914 846619
2. Results of the survey will be published in March 2016 and participants can find out more and sign up at www.womenintourism.co.uk
3. Members of Women In Tourism:
 Anna Morris, The Edinburgh Address
 Diane McRae, Royal Yacht Britannia
 Jane Ali-Knight, Edinburgh Napier University
 Julie Grieve, Info Apps
 Karen Jacques, Karen Jacques Sales and Marketing Solutions
 Lesley Judge, Smart Tourism
 Margaret McNeil, Edinburgh Tourism Action Group
 Marion Mackean, Premier Inn
 Shona Clelland, Assembly Rooms
 Susan Russell, Festivals Edinburgh

i Employment in the tourism-related industries sector (as measured by the Scottish Government’s Tourism Growth Sector) in Scotland was 211,200 in 2013 – accounting for around 8.5% of employment in Scotland.

ii One and All Foundation (2011), www.oneandall.org.uk/content/gender-issues