Tackling the Gender-Regressive Impact of COVID In Travel

January 21, 2021 | Christine Chang, Regional Director of Sales

Working in hotel tech it is easy to see the detrimental effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on people’s lives as well as on businesses, especially those in the travel sector.
Sadly, this impact has only served to highlight the gender divide that still exists when it comes to employment.

I am a founding Board Member for Thrive, Women in Travel. We are a group focusing on reducing the impact of COVID-19 specifically on Women's Career Progression. We work to provide mentorship, networking and support to women working in the travel sector.

A recent study by McKinsey highlights the gender inequity in households and how women are more impacted by COVID-19. With data published this past December, in the US economy alone women lost 140,000 jobs while men gained 16,000 jobs. Women are leaving the workforce at 4x the rate of men. There are multiple reasons causing women to leave the workforce, including:

  • Occupying more front line jobs
  • Juggling the stress of remote jobs
  • Responsibilities for home schooling.

If this continues, decades of women’s progress will be wiped out setting women back by at least 10-years of progress.

This will have a huge impact on the global economy.

“… in a gender-regressive scenario in which no action is taken to counter these effects, we estimate that global GDP growth could be $1 trillion lower in 2030 than it would be if women’s unemployment simply tracked that of men in each sector. Conversely, taking action now to advance gender equality could be valuable, adding $13 trillion to global GDP in 2030 compared with the gender-regressive scenario. A middle path — taking action only after the crisis has subsided rather than now — would reduce the potential opportunity by more than $5 trillion. The cost of that delay amounts to three-fourths of the total global GDP we could potentially lose to COVID-19 this year,” said McKinsey.

Helping Women In Travel Thrive

With so many clear signs of change needed to prevent regression in the careers of women in travel, a diverse group of women in travel, including members from Hilton, Expedia Group, Wyndham, PwC, RateGain, FAU, Booking Holdings, Duetto, and more founded the non-profit organization “THRIVE - Women in Travel.” Our primary goal is to make connections and open doors for women across the hospitality industry by facilitating a “Day of Impact” that will take place over January 26, 27, 28 of 2021. On this day, women across the travel and tourism industry will participate in mentor/mentee sessions to learn from one another to create lasting connections that Thrive.

With so many clear signals of change needed to prevent regression in the careers of women in travel, a big focus is on the power of mentorship to help mentor others and promote awareness of the cause. For the Day of Impact, I have helped put together two panels on the ‘Power of Mentorship’.

Power of Mentorship 11 am EST Session Registration Link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_qMf_mXwrQzSTK7ocUwyDfQ

Power of Mentorship 1 pm EST Session Registration Link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_GtKk6LakRLGz59GS3-lyWg

These panels will include some of the most powerful women in travel, the Head of Travel at Facebook, the Head of Commercial at IHG, the CMO at Best Western, Former President of Advantage Program at American Airlines, and the CMO at Condo World, just to name a few. The panels will focus on how women can help advocate for themselves, support each other and build meaningful and powerful mentorship. In the preliminarily planning sessions, it has been amazing to hear more about the stories of each of the panelists and I know it will be a valuable learning experience.

We now have over 1,100 followers on social media and over 500 mentor and mentee pairings developed. It has been so impressive to see everyone tap into their networks and see our organic growth. The Day of Impact is just a start as we have so much more work to do and so many more opportunities to uncover. Everyday we are growing, and it has been such a rewarding experience working on this cause. As part of the Founding Board Members for Thrive, we are all doing this in our spare time. I am constantly so impressed by the different talents we have and what we can achieve together. Head over to https://womenintravelthrive.com/ to learn more about how you can get involved!

Duetto is an equal-opportunities employer. Interested in joining our team? Check out our current open positions on our Careers page: https://www.duettocloud.com/careers

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