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Women 1st Shine Awards and Top 100 Club recognise best female talent in travel and tourism

Female leaders from the travel and tourism sectors have been recognised at the 2014 Women 1st Shine Awards, where seventeen leading businesswomen were also inducted into the Women 1st Top 100 Club.
The ceremony, held at the London Marriott hotel in Grosvenor Square, was attended by over 150 industry leaders and hosted by ex-rugby union star and now television presenter, Matt Dawson MBE.

Organised by Women 1st, this annual event aims to recognise and celebrate female talent in hospitality, retail, passenger transport, travel and tourism, shining a light on individuals who show outstanding talent, aptitude and initiative in their roles and recognising the mentors and businesses that support their careers.

Former chief executive of VisitBritain, Sandie Dawe MBE, scooped the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions) while a number of women from the travel and tourism industry were inducted into the Women 1st Top 100 Club, which lists the most influential women in hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism. Its members have reached the pinnacle of their careers and act as positive role models providing motivation and guidance for the next generation of leaders.

The 2014 inductees into the Top 100 Club from the travel and tourism sector are:
• Deirdre Wells OBE, CEO, UKinbound
• Diane Bouzebiba, Managing Director, Amadeus UK and Ireland
• Sally Balcombe, CEO, VisitBritain
• Sharon Munro, CEO, Barrhead Travel

Simone Roche, director of Women 1st, commented: “I’d like to congratulate all the winners and also say well done to all the finalists for getting this far.

“The Top 100 Club and the Shine Awards give us a chance to recognise individuals, mentors and businesses that make a real difference to the companies they work for and to our industry, and demonstrate just how many talented women we have in our sector.

“Both our winners and shortlisted finalists are an inspiration to their industry and are great examples of the drive, commitment, enthusiasm and sheer passion required to make it. Crucially, they also provide excellent role models for tomorrow’s female leaders, helping to ensure that our industries build a strong pipeline of talent for the future.”

Women 1st is a campaigning arm of People 1st, the leading skills and workforce development charity for employers in the hospitality, tourism, leisure, travel, passenger transport and retail industries.

It was launched in 2009 to address the issue that large numbers of women were leaving the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism industries each year and the imbalance between men and women at senior levels. Subsequent research has shown that both passenger transport and retail face similar problems, and the initiative now covers the whole tourism and visitor economy sector.

To find out more about the Shine Awards and for the full list of winners visit The full Top 100 Club list is available at

The Women 1st Shine Awards is sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions UK and Ireland, and the Women 1st Top 100 Club is sponsored by Fraser Giles Partnership.

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