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1,000 women trained: Thistle Hotels Empowers Female Managers with Women 1st…

Submitted by on March 6, 2013 – 9:45 am |


women 1st imageThis International Women’s Day, Women 1st has announced that is has now supported over 1,000 women through training and mentoring, helping them to achieve their career aspirations in the UK’s hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism industries. This remarkable landmark was achieved thanks to Thistle Hotels’ decision to train a new batch of female managers through Women 1st’s Step Up programme.

The Step Up programme is designed to transform women’s management and leadership skills by giving aspiring leaders the expertise, confidence and skills needed to become the chief executives and board members of tomorrow. Women 1st also offers a mentoring programme which matches candidates to senior industry figures so that junior female staff can benefit from expert advice and guidance to progress their careers.

Women 1st is the thought leadership, training and mentoring programme for the UK’s hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism industries. It was established by sector skills council People 1st in 2009, after its research revealed that whilst nearly 60 percent of the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism workforce is female, only six percent of director level positions are held by women. Thistle Hotels is amongst a growing number of employers championing diversity and working with Women 1st and taking proactive steps to address gender imbalance across the industry.

Joanna Morgan, service and leadership development manager, Guoman & Thistle Hotels said: “Women 1st is a trailblazer in our industry. We have been developing our female managers through the Step Up programme for some time and are delighted with the results. Women 1st has played a pivotal role in helping our business support people development and it’s great that so many women are on the way to achieving their career aspirations with Thistle.”

Sharon Glancy, founder of Women 1st said: “We have noticed an increase in the number of organisations taking heed of the fact that having more women in board level positions positively impacts financial performance. With women making the majority of purchasing decisions, having more female input on leadership teams can help businesses develop a unique understanding of their largest customer base. It is vital that businesses provide their female staff with effective training, mentoring and networking opportunities to build a talent pipeline of future women leaders.”

Natalie Bickford, HR director Europe for Sodexo and chair of Women 1st, added: “This is a fantastic landmark for Women 1st. Research shows time and time again that gender-balanced teams deliver better results, and the hospitality and tourism industry has a tremendous amount to gain from increasing the number of women working at senior level. Women 1st has a critical role to play in making this happen, and the fact that it has now helped over 1,000 women on their journey to the top is a huge step in the right direction.”

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