Direct action designed to raise the number of women on the business travel industry’s conference stages is being instigated.

A speaking masterclass for the sector is being developed to help women in travel management with confidence and tips on how to own the stage.

The courses are being run by travel and meetings engagement consultancy Festive Road in collaboration with Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

The classes are open to any woman in business travel in the UK who need support to speak effectively on stage.

A preference will be given to those who have not spoken already at an industry event.

The first is being held at the RADA Studios in London on January 21. A RADA instructor with a focus on supporting women in business will lead the classes supported by Caroline Strachan and Louise Kilgannon from Festive Road.

The company states that its overarching aim is “in an industry which clearly celebrates female employment, our ultimate aim is to replicate that balance onstage at industry conferences.”

Festive Road managing Partner Paul Tilstone said: “We know there are large numbers of talented, vocal women in this industry.

“And yet we so often see stages with male dominated panels – or manels as we call them.

“We believe that by supporting the female community in our sector we can help to introduce a rich vein of new female speakers from whom we can learn.”
Karen Hutchings, chair of the Institute of Travel Management, added: “Getting up on stage can be a daunting prospect, after all these years I still get nervous.

“Having a perspective and being prepared to speak is only part of the equation. It takes confidence in your ability to impart the message well and there’s no doubt that the women who embark on this masterclass and the industry itself will benefit from this great initiative.”