Senior figures in the UK’s travel industry just gathered for the announcement of the winners of the inaugural everywoman in Travel Awards. The ceremony, which celebrated the enormous contribution that women make to the multi-billion-pound industry, took place at East Wintergarden, located between the iconic towers of Canary Wharf in London.
From leaders significantly increasing staff productivity through rigorous business remodelling, to an entrepreneur providing the ultimate spa experience for clients undergoing cancer treatment, through to apprentices generating record sales through social media platforms – the winners were women excelling at all stages of their career journeys. They were selected by a judging panel comprising some of the travel industry’s most discerning senior figures including Rachel O’Reilly, Head of Communications, Kuoni and Jo Rzymowska, Vice President & Managing Director, UK and Ireland & Asia at Celebrity Cruises.
Over the past 18 years, everywoman has celebrated the achievements of exceptional women working in technology, retail, entrepreneurship and transport & logistics. This year, it launched the everywoman in Travel Awards to recognise the plethora of female talent in the industry, highlight the growing need for more women in senior positions, particularly as the sector faces unprecedented challenges in light of Brexit, and encourage more women into the industry to ensure a strong pipeline of future talent.
According to research released by C&M Travel Recruitment this year*, women working within the travel industry are still earning less than their male counterparts, despite there being more women working in the sector, and they represent just 15.8% of all board members**. This is why everywoman is dedicated to promoting the immense value female talent is contributing to the businesses they own, the businesses they work for and the wider travel industry.
Karen Morris, Global Operations Director for Travel Counsellors from Manchester, won the Above & Beyond Award, sponsored by The Travel Network Group, awarded to a woman at any stage of her career that has truly gone above and beyond her role to help drive the organisation’s success.
Karen secured her first role in the travel industry at aged 16. She is now driving how Travel Counsellors supports health and wellbeing, reflecting her passion for supporting the people around her. She oversees 1,700 individual Travel Counsellors across seven countries and personally managed the fallout from the 2004 Tsunami and the Iceland ash cloud incident in 2010.
Karen Gill MBE, co-founder of everywoman, comments: “As we celebrate our 18-year anniversary, everywoman is immensely proud to have launched the inaugural everywoman in Travel Awards. We have been overwhelmed by the strength of the entries we received and congratulate the very deserving winners. We believe that these women represent a true reflection of the breadth of female talent across the travel industry and at all stages of the career journey. The applications we received for the programme’s first year have already proven the dedication and tenacity that women in this industry possess. We look forward to unveiling more success stories in the years to come.”
Gary Lewis, CEO, The Travel Network Group, said: “The Travel Network Group is delighted to be a key sponsor of the everywoman Travel Awards. A large number of our 930-strong membership is made up of inspirational and entrepreneurial females and our business is largely driven by the leadership of strong individuals, many of whom are women. As a group we strive to operate a working environment that is equal for all, regardless of gender, race or religion and one that promotes equal opportunities for all to flourish. The everywoman Travel Awards is a great platform on which to showcase the amazing female talent we have in our industry, and as the leading travel membership group in the UK, we are proud to be a part of it.”