Alessandra Alonso, founder of Women in Travel (CIC), the social enterprise dedicated to empowering women through employability and entrepreneurship in the travel industry, has been recognised by NatWest WISE100 as a top 100 leading woman in social enterprise.The annual NatWest WISE100 recognises the most inspiring and influential women in social enterprise, impact investment and mission-driven business. Names were selected from almost 300 nominations submitted by the public, with the final 100 revealed at a special celebration event at NatWest’s conference centre in Bishopsgate, central London.

Alessandra is a women’s champion in the travel, tourism and hospitality sector and has continually worked to support women’s advancement in the industry. Since 2017, when Alessandra founded Women in Travel (CIC), she has facilitated 17 events at leading travel industry trade show World Travel Market in four continents; launched a BAME initiative to support women from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities; and established the Women Returners programme, which partners with charities such as Crisis UK and the Refugee Council to identify, train and match talented women from marginalised communities with employers looking to hire.

Alessandra has also recently been shortlisted as a finalist for the UK Social Enterprise Awards and in January 2020, Alessandra will co-host the first International Women in Travel & Tourism Forum. The inaugural Forum aims to encourage those in the travel industry to better articulate their vision of a gender-inclusive industry. This came about as a result of a discussion at a World Travel Market 2018 panel debate celebrating the 100th anniversary of Women’s suffrage where Alessandra sat alongside the Forum’s three additional innovators: Eliza Reid, the First Lady of Iceland; Zina Bencheikh, the Regional General Manager for Europe, Middle East and North Africa at PEAK DMC; and Jo Phillips, Chief People Officer at Carnival UK. Unlike other events tackling gender imbalance in the workplace, Forum delegates must commit to attend in a duo: to qualify, an executive-level senior leader must pledge to attend with and host a next-generation female colleague. There are now just a few remaining delegate spaces at the International Women in Travel & Tourism Forum so to register as attending, please visit www.iwttf.com.

Commenting on being shortlisted, Alessandra said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been recognised by NatWest WISE100. My social enterprise Women in Travel (CIC) works tirelessly to support women’s advancement in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry by providing women from all walks of life with employability and entrepreneurship skills. I hope my recognition will help further raise awareness of the causes and passions close to my heart.”

For further information on Women In Travel, visit www.womenintravelcic.com

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NOTE TO EDITORS
Image Captions:
Image 1: Alessandra Alonso, founder of Women in Travel (CIC).
Image 2: Women in Travel (CIC) logo.
Image 3: NatWest WISE100 2019 has recognised Alessandra Alonso as a leading woman in social enterprise.

About Women in Travel
Women in Travel (CIC) started life as a gender focussed platform at World Travel Market flagship event in London, in 2014. Growing successfully from then onwards, in 2017 it was incorporated as a social enterprise dedicated to empowering women through employability and entrepreneurship in Travel Tourism and Hospitality. Its vision is to become a catalyst for sustainability by placing women at the heart of an industry which is inherently attractive to females and growing at a fast pace. It is the brain-child of Alessandra Alonso, who has been recognised as a trail-blazer when it comes to gender diversity in the industry and who has supported women in maximising their opportunity in the travel, tourism and hospitality (TTH) industry for well over a decade, originally through Shine & the Shine Awards. Women in Travel partners with employers to provide the first Women Returners service through which the industry can access a pool of marginalised but often highly skilled women who are eager to get back to work. Women in Travel also runs entrepreneurship focussed events, mentoring and networking supporting start up and early stage female entrepreneurs and those wanting to start a business, particularly of BAME background.

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