The importance of women’s participation in the travel and tourism industry has been highlighted by travel and tourism world leaders, throughout a discussion on the problems which women face in employment, such as the obstacles to having access to business, practical difficulties and the environmental constraints.
Such conclusions were made during the Women Deliver Global Conference, founded by Jill Sheffield in 2007 and held this year in Kigali, Rwanda (17-20 July).
Part of the conference was also the President and CEO of WTTC, Julia Simpson, who held a speech regarding women’s participation in the travel and tourism industry.
“Putting women centre stage in Travel and Tourism will ensure a better future for the sector and the global economy. Currently, more than half of the sector is made up of women,” Simpson said.
Simpson also emphasised that companies whose 50 per cent of the staff are women, earn a lot more money, especially in the travel and tourism industry where women are the ones who make the decisions about their holiday destinations.
Simpson’s claims are supported by a report carried out by the Peterson Institute for International Economics and Ernst & Young Global Limited (EY) who found out that companies across 91 nations in different sectors and businesses who had a minimum of 30 per cent women in positions of authority, had their profit increased by six per cent.
According to the World Bank, in comparison to men, whose participation rate makes up 80 per cent of the labour force globally, women make up slightly over 50 per cent of the participation rate in this force. Furthermore, women are less likely to be employed in formal jobs and have less prospects for professional advancement or business growth.
Data from the International Social Tourism Organisation (ISTO) reveals that in the tourism industry women constitute 54 per cent of the working population. However, 15 per cent less is earned by women in comparison to men.
These inequalities were evident since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw a total of 62 million employment opportunities affected in the travel and tourism industry, the majority of which were occupied by women.
WTTC encourages the public and private industries to contribute in some way to encourage women’s involvement in the travel and tourism industry, for example providing professional growth programs for women.
Governments are urged to implement measures that support the advancement of women in management positions as well, such as quota requirements for state-owned businesses and publicly traded corporations.
Previously, Eurostat revealed that in 2020 the EU tourism industry employed more female workers than male ones. The data collected showed that 58 per cent of all employees were females.