A desire to reach a senior level within the sector, the opportunity to be mentored by a colleague and a highly motivated workforce with a passion for the industry are all key findings being announced today with the publication of the 2016 Women In Tourism survey results.
Launched in January, Women In Tourism was created to inspire, motivate, encourage and support women within the Scottish tourism industry. With a lack of research into gender equality within tourism, the first piece of activity for the organisation was to develop a survey to identify the biggest challenges and
opportunities for women within the sector. Existing research had estimated that 60% of those working within the tourism industry were female, but only 6% were in senior or board-level positions.
Encouraging participation from colleagues across Scotland, 241 responses were gathered over a six week period. The results provide a clear direction for future activity for the Women In Tourism committee and include the following key findings:
57% of women stated they work within the industry as they are passionate about tourism
While only 27% of women had previously had the opportunity to be mentored by a colleague
within the industry; 78% would ‘welcome the opportunity to be mentored’
Having a family or being a carer has had an impact on the career of 36% of women. Of those who
agreed, 41% stated that this was due to maintaining a work/life balance
Experiencing barriers to progressing a career within the sector were acknowledged by 44% of
women, with 19% stating this was due to a ‘lack of opportunity’ within their organisation and 16%
due to ‘men dominating at a senior level in the organisation’
46% of women recognise that male colleagues progress faster in the industry
Susan Russell, chair of Women In Tourism, said:
“The results from the survey provide sector-wide evidence for the first time that we have an ambitious female workforce working across all parts of the tourism industry. While barriers or challenges have been identified, respondents were clear that they have the right skills and attributes to reach roles of leadership, but would welcome support through networks and mentoring to enable them to achieve their full potential.
The support for Women In Tourism has been fantastic and we’re delighted to be hosting our first event during Scottish Tourism Week in partnership with Tourism Society Scotland. It was during this week last year when we became aware of the gender imbalance within senior roles across the sector and we’re thrilled to be part of the Signature Programme at the Scottish Tourism Alliance conference. This will be the next step in the evolution of our project and we look forward to working with both female and male colleagues across Scotland as Women In Tourism continues to develop.”