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Why aren't there more women leaders in tourism?

With International Women's Day coming up next week, KarryOn is getting behind an inaugural Women In Tourism Lunch to discuss some of the challenges and opportunities for women to become leaders.

With International Women’s Day coming up next week, KarryOn is getting behind an inaugural Women In Tourism Lunch to discuss some of the challenges and opportunities for women to become leaders.

The big question being: Why aren’t there more women leaders in tourism?

The lunch takes place on Friday 6th March at the newly opened ‘Nel Restaurant’ in Sydney and features a panel of highly influential and leading women in tourism including; Jacquie Walsh (Managing Director, Southern Holdings Travel Group and The Walshe Group), Kim McKay (Founder and Director, Klick Communications), Katrina Barry (Managing Director, Contiki Holidays) and Karin Sheppard (COO IHG Australasia Japan, Korea and AMEA Franchising).

The event is the brainchild of Holly Galbraith (Founder, Go Future Media) and Emma Gardiner (Editor, Spice Magazine) who came up with the idea and question over a game of tennis.

“We were puzzled by how women seem to be the backbone of the tourism industry yet when you look at board level the positions are mostly filled with men. We wondered if other people in the industry think this is an issue that needs to be discussed and wanted to identify what skills are required to be on a tourism board for example and the best way to gain those skills. Bringing people together to start a conversation we thought would be a natural beginning to finding answers”.

Holly Galbraith, Founder, Go Future Media and Tourism TweetUp

Holly also says: “The issue of women in leadership roles of course is not just confined to the tourism and travel industry. The difference however is other industries such as farming, mining, retail etc. are openly discussing and addressing the issue and I don’t see this happening in tourism. I don’t have any answers at this point but I do wonder if some women decide not to put their hand up as much due to commitments around family and our nature. Plus I believe our industry is slow to adapt to change and this too has an impact”.

The lunch will give everyone attending the opportunity to bring these issues to the forefront with the speakers sharing their experiences on how women can progress their careers into more senior roles in the industry as well as being a fantastic networking opportunity.

And it’s important to note that the lunch event is not just for women. I’ll be there on the day and look forward to welcoming any other fellow males working in travel who would like to join us and hear from some extremely inspirational leaders in tourism as well as perhaps contribute to the discussion themselves.

Tickets include a three course lunch with matching wines and you can secure your spot by getting your ticket here. But hurry, tickets are limited and are selling fast.


Sound like a good idea? Will you be attending the event?


KarryOn is giving you the chance to WIN 1 ticket for the leadership lunch.  For your chance to win simply fill out the form below.

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Terms & Conditons:
The Competition is open to everyone except the following people:
Directors, Members, Partners, Agents, Employees or Consultants of KarryOn and The Women in Tourism Leadership Lunch.
The competition starts on Thursday 26th Feb 2015 and ends on Wednesday 4th March 2015.
No entries will be accepted after 09.00 on 5th March 2015.
To enter the competition:
– Enter Full Name.
– Enter functioning email address.
– Entering the competition serves as an acceptance by the entrant of all the terms and conditions hereto.
Prize winners will be drawn at random by KarryOn with winners contacted on the following morning of the competition close.
There is 1 entry ticket to the Women in Tourism Leadership Lunch on March 6th to be won to the value of $81.00
The prize winner will be notified by email. Upon receipt of the email, the potential prize winner/s may be required to provide his/her postal address.
If potential winners do not respond within 3 days a new winner will be selected at random.
The prize is not exchangeable, nor redeemable for cash. KarryOn reserves the right to substitute the prize with any other prize of comparable commercial value in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
Participation constitutes acceptance of the rules.  The judge’s decision is final.  No correspondence will be entered into.
By entering the competition you are automatically subscribing to KarryOn’s daily newsletter.
Entrants must be an Australian resident.