New organizational partnerships and initiatives addressing gender inequality reveal a new generation of women intent on breaking the glass ceiling.
On the horizon are more mentoring opportunities and educational programs to help empower women on their path to the C-Suite.
GBTA Acquires WINiT
WINiT, the career development non-profit launched four years ago in response to a lack of women at senior executive levels in the female-dominated travel and hospitality industry, has grown exponentially to more than 3,000 members worldwide. Last month at the 2018 Convention of the Global Business Travel Association, it was announced that GBTA had acquired WINiT, expanding total membership to approximately 12,000. WINiT events and educational offerings will continue under the GBTA appellation with information on specific programs to come later this fall and future plans to form a senior level advisory board.
“This announcement will enhance WINiT’s visibility, give members increased access to GBTA tools and opportunities, and strengthen GBTA’s commitment to women leadership in the travel industry,” explains GBTA President Christle Johnson. “It’s a win-win.”
Speaking at a WINiT-sponsored session on gender equality at IMEX Frankfurt this past spring, Donna Mitzos, VP of sales for Innovation Meetings in Chicago and recipient of a 2018 WINiT Leadership Award, cited a 2016 Castell Project, Inc. study that found men in the hospitality industry are 10 times more likely to be promoted to principal or president levels and four times more likely to be promoted to the EVP/group president level. “The goal is to even out those numbers,” she says.
SITE Launches “Women in Leadership”
In other news, the Society of Incentive Travel Executives (SITE) “Women in Leadership” initiative was launched last spring with a mission to advocate for and empower women in leadership by raising awareness on equality, furthering education and supporting entrepreneurship. SITE’s Women in Leadership global committee has announced an “Advisor in Action” professional development mentor program, and SITE was one of many industry sponsors of an inaugural webinar by the Events Industry Sexual Harassment Task Force on September 26 that included strategies for understanding and eliminating workplace harassment at events.