THISTLE HOTELS has ensured that the hospitality and tourism sector’s mentoring programme, Women 1st, has now trained over 1,000 women. The news comes on International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2013.
The landmark was achieved thanks to Thistle Hotels’ decision to train a new batch of female managers through Women 1st’s Step Up programme. The Step Up programme is designed to transform women’s management and leadership skills by giving aspiring leaders the expertise, confidence and skills needed to become the chief executives and board members of tomorrow.
Natalie Bickford, HR director Europe for Sodexo and chair of Women 1st, said: “This is a fantastic landmark. Research shows time and time again that gender-balanced teams deliver better results, and the hospitality and tourism industry has a tremendous amount to gain from increasing the number of women working at senior level. Women 1st has a critical role to play in making this happen, and the fact that it has now helped over 1,000 women on their journey to the top is a huge step in the right direction.”
Thistle Hotels is amongst a growing number of employers championing diversity and addressing gender imbalance across the industry. Joanna Morgan, service and leadership development manager at the company said Women 1st is “a trailblazer in our industry”. She added: “Women 1st has played a pivotal role in helping our business support people development and it’s great that so many women are on the way to achieving their career aspirations with Thistle.”
Women 1st was established by sector skills council People 1st in 2009, after its research revealed that whilst nearly 60% of the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism workforce is female, only 6% of director level positions are held by women.