Bourne Leisure - operator of the Warner Leisure Hotels, Butlins and Haven Holidays brands - has become the first company to sign up to a new scheme to encourage more women to reach the top of top of their profession.
Operated by Women 1st, the initiative aims to increase the number of women on boards across the hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism industries. The corporate membership scheme will provide access to training and mentoring programmes, along with discounted and free tickets to the annual Women 1st Conference. It will also flag-up members as being "employers of choice" for women.
Sue Davies, head of human resources at Bourne Leisure, said the company is working hard to increase gender balance in its our leadership team. "A number of our female employees have undertaken Women 1st training and we have been delighted with the results, but we recognise that there is no ‘quick fix' to increasing gender balance. We're pleased to be forging this ongoing partnership with Women 1st to support the wider diversity agenda."
Sharon Glancy, founder of Women 1st, explained: "At a time when our industries are crying out for skilled managers and leaders, there are thousands of talented women who can step up to the plate - but they need the right support. Our membership programmes are designed to give businesses the opportunity to give female staff the skills, confidence and inspiration so they can feel empowered to take their careers to the next level.
Women 1st is the brainchild of sector skills council People 1st, which set up the initiative in 2009 after it found that, while almost 60% of the hospitality workforce is female, only six per cent of board director positions are held by women.
By Janet Harmer
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