Hotelympia sparks conversation with dedicated ‘Women in Hospitality’ day

Programme curator Alessandra Alonso
18/01/2018 - 07:00
With the treatment of female employees dominating industry conversations of late, Hotelympia has joined the debate by announcing the final day of its 2018 event (8 March) as ‘Women in Hospitality’ day along with a specially curated programme.

In acknowledgement of International Women’s Day, Hotelympia will celebrate inspirational female talent and their successes, look at both challenges and opportunities for women in the industry while showcasing female and male champions. It will also celebrate “the invaluable contribution made by female hospitality entrepreneurs as well as up-and-coming stars at the helm of UK start-ups.”

With speakers including the newly appointed government Night Czar, Amy Lamé, Le Gavroche chef Emily Roux, and Great British Menu 2017 winner, Pip Lacey, the programme has been specially curated by founder of Women in Travel CIC, Alessandra Alonso.

She said: “I am honoured and delighted to curate the Women in Hospitality day for Hotelympia. As the founder of Women in Travel CIC - a social enterprise that aims to empower women through employability and entrepreneurship in travel tourism and hospitality - and somebody who has supported and advocated women in the sector for almost 20 years, I believe that women are the backbone of the industry.

“ But not enough is being done to celebrate, and indeed foster, their contribution to and engagement with the sector.

“I praise Hotelympia for launching a day that will hopefully become a feature of the show and will see women and men come together to share, learn, inspire, network and mentor each other on important issues such as entrepreneurship, leadership, flexible working, talent and career development and many others.

“Ultimately it is about making the whole industry more diverse and inclusive to secure its sustainable future.”

Hotelympia recognises the importance of using “its platform to debate what the industry can do to progress more female talent through the ranks.”

Portfolio director Ross Carter added: “With recent statistics from the Change Group highlighting that it is men (58%) who currently dominate hospitality senior managerial roles as well as ownership of restaurants and catering establishments, it has never been more important to use our platform to debate what the industry can do to progress more female talent through the ranks.

“But it’s not just about progressing younger candidates, we need further thinking around how we welcome women back into the workforce following maternity, while there is also the wider and more fragmented issue of the gender pay gap at play.

“Similarly, when it comes to chefs, projections suggest that we will need an additional 11,000 over the next five years to ward off a potential skills crisis.

“This is precisely the type of situation where, with the right talent management, accomplished female chefs can help tip the balance. There are already signs of green shoots with the number of female chefs in the UK reportedly growing by 34% over the past 12 months – the biggest single rise over the past five years – but more needs to be done.”

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