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24 Mar

Balancing the Boardroom

To celebrate Scottish Tourism Week, on Thursday 17 March, Tourism Society Scotland partnered with the new group Women in Tourism to deliver its debut event at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

The new Women in Tourism group, which was set up last year by a number of industry professionals in Edinburgh, includes The Royal Yacht Britannia, the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh Napier University and Festivals Edinburgh, aims to gauge the extent of gender equality across the industry. Around 60 per cent of its workforce are female.

Our chief executive Juliana Delaney joined the conversations on the day alongside a panel of talented tourism professionals: Amanda Wrathall, Sales and Marketing Director at the event’s venue, Melissa Singh, Marketing Assistant at VisitScotland and Rebecca Brooks, Managing Director at Abbey Tours.

During the panel, results were announced from the industry survey conducted by Women in Tourism.

“If you do not ask, you do not get, so do not be afraid to start key conversations.”

Melissa – Marketing Assistant at VisitScotland

These results included:

  • Having a family or being a carer has had an impact on the career of 36% of women. Of those who agreed, 41% stated that this was due to maintaining a work/life balance
  • Experiencing barriers to progressing a career within the sector were acknowledged by 44% of women, with 19% stating this was due to a ‘lack of opportunity’ within their organisation and 16% due to ‘men dominating at a senior level in the organisation’
  • 46% of women recognise that male colleagues progress faster in the industry

Reflecting on the results, the panel commented that where we are now is the result of so many years of a patriarchal society where it has been normal for men to work and for women to stay at home and that balance now needs to be readdressed.

Juliana stressed she preferred to encourage ‘parity’, as the word ‘equality’ implies that women are somehow on the back foot and are having to prove themselves as equals, which she believes women already are.

 “Have more confidence in your abilities.”

Juliana Delaney – Chief Executive of Continuum Attractions

Juliana is also a part of the Women 1st Top 100 Club, an outstanding organisation which creates a network for women on the way up in the hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism industries to benefit from the skills of those who are at their peak.

The World Economic Forum in its Global Gender Gap Report 2015 estimates it will take until 2095 – 117 years – to achieve global gender parity in the workplace. Our management team is currently made up of 7 males and 8 females, and with the help of groups like these empowering women in our leading industries, we hope everyone else will soon have a balanced boardroom.

Join the discussion #womenintourism, as hundreds of tourism professionals did on the day.

“I never dreamt about success, I worked for it”.

Estee Lauder

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