INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY MESSAGE FROM PATRICIA AFFONSO-DASS, PRESIDENT, CARIBBEAN HOTEL AND TOURISM ASSOCIATION (CHTA)
One of the themes for International Women’s Day 2020 is #EachforEqual.
The International Women’s Day website notes that the theme is drawn from the notion of “Collective Individualism”, noting that we are all parts of a whole where our individual actions, conversation, behaviors, and mindsets can have an impact on our larger society and we can collectively make change happen – collectively we can create a gender-equal world.
This theme resonates with me particularly as I think about our industry, our Association, our region, and my own personal journey. I am inspired as I think about hospitality in the Caribbean and of all of the female pioneers who blazed trails across the region.
From policymakers to jungle resort creators and luxury hotel operators, to tourism educators, directors, and environmental tourism warriors, women have made their mark on every aspect of our industry’s development, selflessly setting up the rungs of the ladder that have allowed me and many others to step up, speak up and continue to support and create an environment in which all women can realize their full and true potential.
A 2019 World Travel and Tourism Council study on Driving Women’s Success notes that “across the world, Travel & Tourism has almost twice as many female employers than other sectors, proving that significant opportunities exist in the sector for women to run their own businesses.” Our industry offers rarely seen opportunities to populate and to smash glass ceilings!
There is no shortage of entry-level positions for women in hospitality, but CHTA’s push has always been and must continue to be, to expand opportunities for women at all levels through our training programs and scholarships which, of course, also expands our industry’s talent pool.
Our recently launched CHTA Young Leaders Forum provides a vital platform for networking, exposure to the boardroom, mentorship and best practices, and our diversity and inclusion training initiatives focus not only on physical and sexual diversity but also on gender equality and the need to provide work environments that recognize and promote potential in all of its beautiful forms.
At CHTA we will continue to advocate to create and strengthen work environments that are free from all forms of gender bias, that are safe, empowering, offer equal pay for equal work and that protect against harassment in any of its forms. We will also continue to fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements. I ask all of you to join our efforts.
About the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is the Caribbean’s leading association representing the interests of national hotel and tourism associations. For more than 55 years, CHTA has been the backbone of the Caribbean hospitality industry. Working with some 1,000 hotel and allied members, and 33 National Hotel Associations, CHTA is shaping the Caribbean’s future and helping members to grow their businesses. Whether helping to navigate critical issues in sales and marketing, sustainability, legislative issues, emerging technologies, climate change, data and intelligence or, looking for avenues and ideas to better market and manage businesses, CHTA is helping members on issues which matter most. For further information, visit www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com.