People 1st is set to launch the hunt for the 100 most influential women in hospitality and travel.
The search is due to start on 2 November at an event at the Langham hotel, when nominations for the Top 100 list will open at www.people1st.co.uk/top100.
The list is designed to celebrate the best in female achievement in an industry where many women have struggled to reach positions of seniority.
Women selected for the Top 100 list will also be entered into the judging for the 2011 Women 1st Awards which will recognise the key achievements of the industry's Top 100 most influential women.
Women 1st is the brainchild of People 1st, the Sector Skills Council for the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism (HLLT) industry. Women 1st found that while females made up nearly 60% of the industry's workforce, they made up only 6% of senior board and director-level positions.
Pinky Lilani OBE, who is guest speaker at the launch even at the Langham, said: "This industry needs an initiative like Women 1st to shatter the glass ceiling so ambitious women can aim high and reach their career aspirations. I believe that businesses are missing out by not being more open to the benefits to be gained from diversity. Most women bring a unique approach, experience and management style to positions of seniority and therefore are able to make a tangible difference to an organisation. I feel privileged to launch the search for the Top 100 most influential women."
Sharon Glancy, founder of Women 1st, adds: "While our industry is one of the most dynamic in the country, women have struggled to reach their career aspirations. By showcasing the most influential women in our industries, we can highlight their valuable contribution and hopefully inspire others to emulate that success. I urge employers and individuals to nominate successful women when we launch our search on 2 November".
Lilani came to the UK from India never having cooked before. Having taught herself Indian cookery, her first job was teaching Indian cookery at an adult education centre. Before long she was advising a number of high-street supermarket chains about their own Indian food ranges and launched a book based on Indian cuisine. She has also made numerous television appearances.
By Neil Gerrard
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