Expedia and PhocusWire launch whitepaper on diversity and inclusion

Worldwide: The whitepaper calls for greater diversity and inclusion (D&I) in travel companies, revealing a lack of clear leadership track for women in senior roles.

According to the World Travel Organisation, 54 per cent of women make up the global tourism workforce compared to 39 per cent in the broader economy. 

This number drops to 20.7 per cent regarding women in executive roles in commercial, general management, or financial leadership positions within the travel sector.

The Gender Diversity in the Travel Industry whitepaper, co-authored by PhocusWire and Expedia Group with insights from American Airlines, Avis Budget Group, HEI Hotels and Resorts and Marriott International, shows companies how to create a culture of inclusivity.

Some key areas for improvement include:

– Provide a plan for leadership growth – form councils within the company to directly address growth bias, and mentor diverse candidates for leadership positions.

– Put bias aside. Companies need to implement scalable ‘Unconscious Bias’ training, and take active steps to reduce bias through natural language processing.

– Be a better ally – an ally takes action for the equality of marginalised groups: they mentor, call out inappropriate behaviour and use inclusive language.

– Individuals first – start at the individual level: make sure every individual feels included and embraced to drive greater employee satisfaction.

– Recruit with D&I in mind: recruit broadly and leverage gender balancing tools like Textio to remove gender language and bias in job descriptions.

Comprehensive D&I research reveals that companies with higher D&I show 19 per cent higher revenue due to innovation, and are 35 per cent more likely to have above-medium financial returns.

Melissa Maher, chief inclusion officer of Expedia Group, said: “With one in ten people working in travel, our industry has an opportunity to ensure our workforce reflects the diverse customers, partners and communities we serve. I spend a lot of time in discussion with a range of people both inside and outside of our organisation, and this is a topic that people are really passionate about.”

“D&I is a journey that requires constant listening, learning, and implementation of policies and programmes that foster inclusion and belonging. At Expedia Group, we are deeply committed to an inclusive culture, as we know it is key to making us a stronger and smarter company.”

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