The annual AWTE Chair Awards took place in London yesterday at the Radisson Edwardian Hampshire in Leicester Square. Celebrating an evening of successes with female winners spanning the travel industry, the sold out event saw female industry pioneers rewarded for their impact on business and the industry as a whole.
The evening opened with a speech from Lisa Henning on behalf of sponsor The Travel Network Group. Lisa spoke issued a rallying call for industry to “stop talking the talk and start walking the walk” on issues around women in the workplace ranging from gender equality
The evening opened with three female entrepreneurs being given cash gifts for the advancement of their businesses by the AWTE Benevolent Fund. These were Jane Pierce, Kathryn Bullock and Linda Allison. We are looking forward to reporting back on the progress of their projects and seeing what impact their awards have in the coming months.
Jane and Kathryn are pictured here with some members of the AWTE Benevolent Commitee, who accepted Linda’s award on her behalf as she was sadly unable to attend on the evening.
Next in the proceedings, five women were added to the Most Influential Women in Travel list:
Sophie Griffiths Editor of TTG won The Business Impact Award. Sophie has been instrumental in putting diversity at the forefront of the travel industry creating a diversity charter and TTG LGBGT. On winning the award Sophie said “a huge thank you for this award and to everyone who has embraced diversity and inclusion in the travel industry that’s what TTG LGBT is all about. “
Company of the Year was awarded to Celebrity Cruises. Celebrity shook the industry when they appointed Nobel Laureate and UN Ambassador for Peace Malala Yousafzai as the Godmother to their new ship Celebrity Edge. Their partnership with the Malala Foundation is part of an ongoing drive to champion diversity and education for all women across the globe. On winning the award Jo Rzymowska said “I am so proud of a company that promotes diversity and inclusion and constantly looks to see how we can get greater equality throughout our organisation.”
Finally the AWTE Honorary Award was given to previous Chair, Debbee Dale for her outstanding contribution and ongoing support to the association.
The five women added to the “influential women in travel” list were:-
Barbara Kolosinska from C & M Recruitment
Lisa McAuley from Silversea Cruises
Joanna Kolatsis from Hill Dickenson
Wendy Wu from Wendy Wu Tours
Jeannette Linfoot from Saga Holidays
All of the ladies were ‘delighted‘ with their inclusion on the list.
Sarah Clayton Turner – Chair of the AWTE said “This evening has been a turning point for the AWTE. Diversity and inclusion is at the forefront of the travel agenda, TTG and Celebrity Cruises are businesses that champion these issues and the women who lead them thoroughly deserve recognition”.