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‘BAME Women in Travel’ is on a mission to promote opportunities in hospitality for Black, Asian and minority ethnic women

'BAME Women in Travel' is not about tokenism, it is about fair and equal opportunities because we are talented, smart and capable of driving the growth and success of the UK hospitality and travel industry'

Quote from Jamie-Lee-Abtar-Executive-Director-of BAME-Women-In-Travel - BAME Women in Travel is not about tokenism, it is about fair and equal opportunities because we are talented, smart and capable of driving the growth and success of the UK hospitality and travel industry

BAME Women in Travel (Black, Asian and minority ethnic), is on a mission to launch more BAME women into leadership positions and increase the number choosing to opt for a career in hospitality, tourism and travel.

Representing BAME women in hospitality

The Black Lives Matter movement has shone a global spotlight on racial injustice and inequality. Globally, organisations are being asked to step up and commit to racial and social justice and equality within their businesses. caught up Jamie-Lee Abtar, Executive Director of BAME Women In Travel and started by asking her about BAME women in the hospitality industry.

We recognised there was a real need for representation for women from BAME backgrounds in hospitality. Our goal and purpose is to raise awareness and assist Black, Asian and minority ethnic women in the travel and tourism industry to fulfill their economic and individual potential, through training and mentoring services, with the aim at fostering entrepreneurship in employment.

Addressing racial inequality through four strategic objectives

We asked Jamie-Lee how BAME WIT aimed to address racial inequality.

We have a three-year plan broken down into four objectives. The first is around setting targets to increase BAME representation within the hospitality and travel and tourism industry.

BAME WIT works with businesses and senior leadership groups to have open dialogues and discussions, and then we focus on agreed core objectives, the first of which is to set tangible targets for BAME representation.

Breaking the glass ceiling for BAME women

Our second objective is to break the glass ceiling. We know there is a challenge around individuals from BAME backgrounds in senior leadership positions. There is a disconnect after people reach middle management positions, so BAME WIT will be working really hard to address this with businesses, to see how we can help to progress those individuals further up the career ladder.

Raising the profile of BAME employees

Our third focus is on raising the profile of BAME employees and it’s all about representation which really matters. Employers and consumers need to be able to see those physical role models and young talent needs to know that you can achieve career advancement in hospitality. If you don’t see yourself represented in positions like CEO of a company or a major brand, you might think that you could never possibly achieve it. It is all about creating goals.

Embracing ‘Allyship’

Establishing best practice guidelines and growing and supporting networks is part of the final objective.

We’re developing best practice guidelines and actionable toolkits that brands can use to develop their skill sets. We recently launched our Allyship Toolkit, a simple and easy toolkit to give organisations the practical steps on how to embrace Allyship personally and promote it within their organisations.

Why businesses should get involved, now

Businesses can, and should, get involved with BAME WIT.

One of the most actionable things organisations can do is to support the BAME community. The challenge is to get brands to really commit to racial diversity. It is not about putting that black square on your social media platform anymore, it is an important element of any business. A perfect way to do this is through our corporate partnership, which means support to create tailored solutions that increase the level of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) inclusion in the workplace.

Becoming part of BAME Women In Travel

Finally, we asked Jamie-Lee how BAME women can get involved.

The easiest way is to have a look at the BAME Women in Travel website, enter their details and they will be added to our newsletter which features all the events, courses and training and mentoring opportunities available. If there is something specific someone would like more information on they can reach out via our email and we can have a conversation.

We live in a diverse global world and these people are essentially the audience who will be travelling and buying in the future. Now is the time for everyone to really take racial injustice and inequality seriously and to bring all those diverse voices to the table.

BAME Women in Travel:

Twitter: @iamjamielee246