Senior travel roles still male dominated – 7 Dec 2006

There are still too few women in senior industry roles, despite the fact it is more than 30 years since the Sex Discrimination Act became law.

Senior female travel and hospitality bosses claim women still lack confidence and need support, such as mentoring, to move up the ladder.

Alessandra Alonso, joint managing director of Shine People and Places, which organised a debate on women in employment, said: “It’s 30 years since the sex discrimination act but still there are fewer women than men in positions of power and influence across politics and business.”

VisitBritain strategy and communications director Sandie Dawe said: “It’s still men determining outcomes in recruitment terms. She urged women to take tips from men, advising: “Be more focused and use business language.”

Excel conferences and events division managing director Vanessa Cotton said the onus is on women to change. “Be the architect of your own future. Learn to read a balance sheet,” she said.

VisitLondon marketing director Martine Ainsworth-Wells said: “I get disappointed women do not shout up.”

Former MI5 boss Dame Stella Rimington was guest speaker at the Association of Women Executives Christmas lunch this week. Read her comments next week.

What do you think? Are women under-represented at senior level? E-mail: juliet.dennis

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