Women in Travel (CIC), the social enterprise dedicated to empowering women through employability and entrepreneurship in the travel industry, has celebrated the return of the Women Returners programme for a second year.

Women Returners is a unique initiative in the tourism and hospitality industry that works with supporting charities to identify, select, train and match talented women from marginalised communities and backgrounds with suitable employers who are looking to hire. Charities involved in the programme include Crisis UK, Breaking Barriers, Refugee Council, Refuge and Bread Winners.

The forthcoming programme will take place at the Tara Hotel in Kensington, London, from 30th September to 4th October 2019 and will ensure that local women, ready to work but lacking in confidence and network, are provided with the right support to become fully engaged in the talent-hungry tourism and hospitality sector.

Women involved in the programme have encountered personal challenges that may have prevented full-time work in the past. For example, candidates may include refugees, homeless individuals, sexually trafficked and domestic abuse victims. All are capable individuals with previous work experience, often in relevant areas.

Employers are invited over two days to introduce themselves and interview a small group of women who are eager to work in the travel industry for entry-level job roles or paid internships. The programme is run over the course of a week and includes a series of workshops and peer mentoring groups.

Speaking about the Women Returners programme, Alessandra Alonso, the Founder of Women in Travel (CIC) said: “The travel, tourism and hospitality industry is a fast-growing sector in the UK but talent is becoming increasingly scarce. The Women Returners programme therefore selects and trains women who are eager to return to work in the industry, but are currently under the radar, and ensures that their talent is visible to travel, tourism and hospitality employers who are keen to engage with a more diverse workforce.”

Ghazal Ahmad travelled to the UK after escaping the Syrian conflict and is now Reservation Agent at the Tara Hotel after taking part in one of last year’s Women Returners programme. Speaking about her new career, Ghazal said: “I was so pleased to find out about the Women Returners programme. I arrived in London from Syria and did not know anyone, but the programme gave me confidence and a great introduction to the hospitality sector, in which I already had some experience. I started as reservation coordinator but after just four months I was given a promotion, which I was so happy about!”

To view an introductory video including employers who have taken part in the Women Returners programme, visit bit.ly/WITReturners1.

To hear from Ghazal Ahmad, who took part in last year’s Women Returners programme, visit bit.ly/WITReturners2.

Companies interested in filling vacancies with the help of the Women Returners programme in September can sign up to the event by e-mailing returners@womenintravelcic.com or can find out more about the initiative at www.womenintravelcic.com.


Image Captions:
Image 1: Alessandra Alonso, Founder of Women in Travel (CIC).
Image 2: Women in Travel (CIC) logo.

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.

For further media information, images or interview opportunities please contact:
GEC PR | wit@gecpr.co.uk