The Women to Watch in HTL Index 2019

In its inaugural year, the Women to Watch in HTL Index highlights the broad and deep talent pool we have within our industry and aims to inspire more women to pursue a career within the sector and to reach the most senior levels within their organisations.

The Index has unearthed a monumental wealth of personal and professional stories, successes, tips and lessons learnt. The 90 women featured in the Index are inspiring role models with diverse backgrounds, nationalities, education, race/ethnicities, experiences and ages.

Some of them work flexibly, others hold roles managing teams across a number of different countries. They all share a desire to support other women in their aspiration to grow, learn, contribute, and have fulfilling careers within the sector.

To view the full Index, download your copy here

WIH2020 Annual Report Preparation

The WiH2020 Annual Report 2020 Edition

Gender and BAME Diversity in HTL - From Intent to Action

In partnership with The MBS Group and PwC

We are pleased to announce that work has now started on our yearly research into the status of diversity and inclusion across hospitality, travel and leisure to be published 5th February 2020. We are delighted that The MBS Group (for the second consecutive year) and PwC (for the third consecutive year) will support WiH2020 with what has become the leading voice on diversity and inclusion collaboration across HTL.

The 2020 Report will focus on two key areas of the diversity and inclusion journey: Gender (for the third year) and Race and Ethnicity (for the second year). It will explore progress made by companies across the sector both in terms of increasing the percentage of women and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic employees at senior leadership level as well as making meaningful changes towards creating a diverse and inclusive organisational culture.

The Report will feature a variety of examples of how CEOs, Chairs and HR leaders from companies across HTL are joining forces, sharing, collaborating, being inspired by and inspire other organisations across the sector to challenge stereotypes and bias, give opportunities to all to grow and progress and continue to build our industry as truly welcoming of everybody whatever their background might be.

For the first time, the Report will include the findings of an extensive survey of HTL employees adding their voice, expectations and contribution to the D&I debate across our industry.

The WiH2020 Annual Report launch will be hosted by PwC at their Embankment offices in February 2020 in a series of events for Chairs and Non Executive Directors, CEOs and HR Directors.

Tea Colaianni, Founder and Chair of WiH2020, said: “I am delighted to be working again with Elliott Goldstein at the MBS Group and Jon Terry at PwC and their teams to assess the status of D&I across hospitality, travel and leisure and share the amazing collaboration taking place in this area across the industry. We will showcase big and small examples of D&I in action. Our third annual report promises to be the most impactful and interesting yet!”

Elliott Goldstein, MD and Partner at the MBS Group commented: “Promoting diversity is a core principal for us at The MSB Group, so we are honoured and delighted to partner with WiH2020 and PWC on the research and publication of the 2020 Report. We hope that the analysis and presentation of diversity data across our sectors will unambiguously assess the true status of women and other minority leaders within Travel, Leisure Hospitality – and will act as a powerful catalyst to wholesale change. Furthermore, by showcasing examples of best practice within our sectors, we hope that the 2020 Report will provide some practical and useful guidance to companies throughout the sector looking to genuinely become more diverse.”

Jon Terry, UK Diversity and Inclusion Consulting Lead at PwC, said: "At PwC, we recognise that promoting diversity and inclusion is the right thing to do, but we also recognise from a business perspective, a diverse workforce drives innovation, improves working environments and enhances customer service. We are delighted to be collaborating with WiH2020 and the MBS Group for another year of this report - shedding a light on this incredibly important issue for the hospitality, travel and leisure industries.

For any information about the Report or the February launch, please contact

Gender Pay Gap Report 2019

"Let's make it years not decades; closing the gender pay gap in hospitality, travel and leisure", which analyses the progress made by the industry over the first two years of gender pay gap reporting.

Our report, in collaboration with PwC and UK Hospitality, sets out the challenges and how the industry is responding, together with a framework for accelerating the pace of change.

Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure 2020 Review 2019 Edition

Collaborating to achieve Diversity and Inclusion

Our research, in partnership with The MBS Group and PwC, is based on diversity data and interviews with CEOs, Chairs and Human Resources Directors of over 120 companies across the sector.

Our analysis shows that the sector is making great strides towards the Hampton-Alexander target of 33% women in the FTSE 350 leadership teams by the end of 2020 - the targets WiH2020 was formed to help the industry achieve.

We outline below some of the most interesting data.

Encouraging Progress

32% Women on Boards at FTSE 100 Hospitality, Travel and Leisure companies

No all-male FTSE 350 Hospitality, Travel and Leisure Boards

39% Female NEDs in the FTSE 350

36% Female Direct Reports (into Executive Committee across the whole sector)

Requiring Improvement

While the overall trends for Diversity at Board and in senior leadership roles are improving, this is not reflected in the key roles of CEO, Chair and CFO where progress has been poor.

Tea Colaianni, Chair of WIH2020, said:

“The FTSE 100 is one of the strongest performing groups of the hospitality, travel and leisure sector for gender diversity and the improvements they have made mean they are just shy of meeting the 33% target for women on boards.

However, there is a widening gap between those who are performing well and those who are not. Currently, only a quarter of companies are at target for both board and executive committee/direct report measures.

The report also sheds light on a number of never seen before collaboration initiatives across the sector such as Comeback to HTL, the ground-breaking first ever cross industry returners programme.”

Looking beyond Gender : BAME

For the first time this year, we have looked beyond gender and shed light on the lack of ethnic diversity amongst the sector's senior leaders. The ethnic diversity data presents a bleak picture with only 3% BAME people in leadership positions across the Hospitality, Travel and Leisure.

Many companies were unable to provide accurate data on ethnic diversity, as they simply don't know it themselves.

Elliott Goldstein Partner at The MBS Group discusses Tackling Diversity in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure Sectors (Part I)

Elliott Goldstein Partner at The MBS Group discusses Your Flexible Friend? Broadening Diversity in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure (Part II)

Elysia McCaffrey

Deputy Head of Government Equality Office (GEO) and Head of Gender

“With only 2 years to go to meet the Hampton-Alexander Review targets, FTSE 250 companies need to up their game to achieve 33% women in senior leadership roles. That is why the work of the Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure 2020 campaign, with its ambition to achieve this target for its sector, is so vitally important.
I urge all companies, no matter what size or sector, no matter what their starting position is, to support, and engage with this work, to collaborate and share ideas and good practice – everyone has a role to play.
The work of WiH2020 supports companies to understand their issues and take effective action. Such as making sure that women get operational experience early on in their careers – often crucial in securing top jobs later on - and helpfully providing career planning tips. The sector must build on the momentum highlighted in the WiH2020 (2019 edition) report - demonstrate that it’s not only a UK leader, but a world leader on this agenda.”

HTL Case Studies

Be Yourself - Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays

The vision of Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays is to be the most loved travel company. Read the case study they have written for WiH2020 and learn about their approach to Diversity & Inclusion.

Case Study

Be Yourself Steering Group

Be Yourself Manifesto


WiH2020 Women to Watch in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure Index

2019 Edition

WiH2020 Women in Hospitality, Travel & Leisure 2020 Review

Feb 2019 Edition

Hampton-Alexander Review 2019

November 2019

Family-friendly working practices - Summary Report

October 2019

Employment Pathways and Occupational Change After Childbirth - Summary Report

October 2019

Improving Women's Progression in the workplace

October 2019

Cranfield University - The Female FTSE Board Report

July 2019

Gender equality at every stage: a road map for change

July 2019

Gender Equality Monitor

July 2019

The case for change

July 2019

Female Career Advancement

A recent article from Valentine Calinaud, a tourism research assistant at the University of Greenwich

May 2019

Mandatory Gender Pay Gap Report

April 2019

Women in Work Index 2019

PwC have launched the annual update of the Women in Work Index, their measure of female economic empowerment across the OECD.

March 2019

Ethnicity Pay Gap Report

Survey Response Report

October 2018

WiH2020 Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure 2020

2018 Edition

2020 Women on Boards

Gender Diversity Index

How to recruit women for the 21st century - toolkit and annual report

2018 Edition

Hampton-Alexander Review 2018

November 2018

Women in the Workplace 2018

A study conducted by McKinsey in partnership with LeanIn.Org.

Personnel Today - Building the business case for returnships

November 2018

PwC Gender Pay Gap Reporting

Hospitality, Travel and Leisure

May 2018

GEO The Pipeline Effect

A toolkit for enabling gender parity beyond middle management

August 2017