Marriott Hotels in Scotland has become one of the first businesses in Scotland to join Women 1st.
Women 1st is the part industry and Skills Development Scotland-funded initiative that provides training and mentoring for women working in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industries.
The initiative is the brainchild of People 1st, the sector skills council, which found that while 56% of the workforce is female, only 6% of board director positions are held by women.
The Women 1st programme includes ‘Step Up' which instils junior female managers with the confidence and skills needed to become senior managers, chief executives and board members.
Lorraine Downard, HR officer at Marriott Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club, said: "Women 1st has an impressive track record of making a positive difference to employers and their female staff in England and we were keen to be involved as soon as the programme was available in Scotland. The fact that the training is also subsidised makes it incredibly cost efficient too."
The Women 1st programme will be available in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dumfries. Usually £2,000 per delegate, People 1st secured a Government subsidy to offer the programme to women in Scotland for just £300 per candidate. Furthermore Scottish businesses who employ fewer than 75 employees can also apply to get up to 50% of the cost of the programme reimbursed by Skills Development Scotland.
David Allen, head of sector skills council People 1st in Scotland, said: "Next year's Olympics as well as the Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow will present Scotland with an invaluable business opportunity. To maximise the commercial opportunities, organisations must proactively enhance the management and leadership skills of all of their staff: both male and female."
By Neil Gerrard
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