100 Years of Suffragettes: International Perspectives for the Travel Industry

100 Years of Suffragettes: International Perspectives for the Travel Industry

5 Nov 2018, 12:30 - 13:30

Europe Inspiration Zone - EU80

This year marks the 100th anniversary of British women gaining the right to vote and World Travel Market is holding a special travel focussed debate to mark this momentous occasion. While it may seem like distant history, the centenary has been a cause for both celebration and reflection on the parallels between the international women’s movement of the past and the fight for women rights still going on today, most notably: sexual harassment, and the #metoo movement; gender pay gap, yet to be eradicated in most professions notwithstanding more stringent regulations/laws; political representation, which is quite polarised throughout the world and economic participation gap that will not be closed for another 217 years according to research by the World Economic Forum, yet could global add US$5.3 trillion of GDP by 2025.

Early gender discussions by UK organisations Shine and Women1st in the UK travel industry in the ‘000 were often met with resistance but since then awareness and recognition of the need for greater diversity and gender balance has grown and so has the visibility of women in industry (whereas the number of women in top positions has somewhat fluctuated). 

The panel will draw some parallels between the Suffragettes movement, their passionate plea for liberties and rights and what is happening globally in the gender arena whether in or outside the travel & tourism industry. 

We will be investigating what the travel industry might be able to do to accelerate the pace at which the gender pay gap is closing; whether it is tapping fully in to the power of collective movements and what lessons and best practice can be shared and learnt from other sectors.  

The panel will be moderated by Alessandra Alonso of Women in Travel (CIC), a long-standing, passionate advocate and supporter of women in the travel & tourism industry and social entrepreneur. It will be her privilege to be joined by the following prestigious panelists:

  • Eliza Reid – First Lady of Iceland & Special Ambassador for Tourism (World Tourism Organisation)
  • Zina Bencheikh, Regional General Manager Europe, Middle East and North Africa, PEAK Destination Management Company 
  • June Sarpong MBE, Co-Founder, WIE Network & DNA Summit
  • Jo Phillips, VP Talent & Culture, Carnival UK


For entry to this particular event, please ensure you are also registered for all three days of WTM London. Please click here to register.

Seats within this session are on a first come first served basis.



  • Alessandra Alonso



    Women in Travel CIC

    Alessandra Alonso is Founder of Women in Travel CIC, a social enterprise dedicated to leveraging the travel and tourism industry in order to empower...

  • Eliza Reid


    The First Lady of Iceland

    Eliza Jean Reid, the First Lady of Iceland, was born in 1976 in Ottawa, Canada. She moved to Iceland in 2003. Madame Reid holds an Honours Bachelor...

  • Zina Bencheikh


    Regional General Manager Europe, Middle East and North Africa

    PEAK Destination Management Company

    Born in Marrakech, Zina's passion for travel started very early when, at the age of just one, her parents decided to move to Canada to explore new...

  • June Sarpong MBE



    WIE Network and DNA Summit

    June has enjoyed a 20-year career which has seen her become one of the most recognisable faces of British television. June is the Co-founder of the...

  • Jo Phillips


    VP Talent & Culture

    Carnival UK

    As VP Talent & Culture for Carnival UK, Jo’s teams define and implement people strategies and solutions that are enabling Carnival UK to reach its...

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