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Women In Tourism launch with bid to address gender imbalance in tourism sector

Yesterday, Women In Tourism announced one of the first pieces of research into gender equality within the tourism sector across Scotland with the launch of a survey to those working across the industry.  The survey is open to individuals at all levels across the tourism sector and seeks to gather thoughts and opinions on topics such as leadership opportunities, career development and remuneration. 

Vitally important to the Scottish economy, this sector employs around 211,000 individuals across tourism-related businesses.  In 2011 it was estimated that around 60% of those working within the tourism industry were female, with women accounting for only 6% of those in senior board positions, and four years later there is little evidence to suggest that this statistic has changed. 

Following completion of Edinburgh Napier University’s Destination Leaders Programme, a group of Edinburgh-based women have come together to create Women In Tourism, a not-for-profit organisation which seeks to develop a framework of activity in recognition of the challenges and opportunities available to women within the sector.

Developed by a small Committee - including representatives from the Royal Yacht Britannia, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh Napier University, The Edinburgh Address, Smart Tourism, Premier Inn and Festivals Edinburgh – the initiative builds on inspiring, motivating, encouraging and supporting women within the sector, and will help underpin the Scottish Government’s long-term strategic ambition to ensure a 50/50 gender balance across Scottish’s private, public and third sector organisation’s by 2020.

Susan Russell, Co-founder and Chair of Women In Tourism, said: “The 50:50 initiative is vitally important in developing and changing the gender balance in boardrooms across Scotland.  Women In Tourism seeks to support this, while going one step further by motivating and supporting women into leadership positions across the sector.  Much of our intelligence to date has been anecdotal and the announcement of today’s survey is to gather a strong evidence base to lobby for gender equality across the sector.”

The survey is available for completion at and will close on Friday 19th February 2016.

Susan continued “Results of the survey will be published in early Spring along with further announcements on the next phase of development for Women In Tourism.  It’s an exciting time to be part of Scotland’s tourism industry and we look forward to working with colleagues across the sector as we develop the project.”

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