Tourism employs a higher proportion of women than any other sector
The world tourism sector has 49% of women employed in hotels and 36% of women entrepreneurs in the hotel and food industry, we are on the right track but there is still much more to go
By: Gabriela D'Onofrio, Amadeus Manager in Ecuador
The importance of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls has become a fundamental axis of the world's major organizations. So much so that achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls by the year 2030 is one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Among the sectors that most support the role of women in the professional area, we find tourism. According to UN Women, tourism employs a higher proportion of women than any other economic sector. Undoubtedly, the sector has the potential to contribute to greater gender equality and the empowerment of women.
The RUTAS project of the Development Bank of Latin America in the rural communities of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador found that women lead 55% of tourism ventures, which has achieved an increase in their financial autonomy, improves the value of women's work in the area and better education for children.
In addition, tourism projects have increased by indigenous communities who want to publicize their land firsthand and have found an ally in the sector. As is the case of Mujeres Kiwchas in the Ecuadorian Amazon that hand in hand with an agency they offer the package of accommodation, dances, fishing, shamanism and excursions through the jungle. In the eco-tourism project that 11 indigenous women started in 2006, it already has 30 working.
However, it is not only the duty of government entities to empower the role of women and exalt the importance of diversity in work, it is also the duty of private companies. The world tourism sector has 49% of women employed in hotels and 36% of women entrepreneurs in the hotel and food industry, we are on the right track but there is still much more to go.
In Amadeus, a technology company applied to the tourism industry, we currently have a very diverse team, in Latin America 50% of our employees are women and 47% of the managers are women. We also have 132 nationalities and 62 languages throughout the company. Likewise, our more than 150 agreements with universities in Latin America train thousands of students in the use of Amadeus, which will allow them a faster and easier labor insertion in the industry.
However, we face two major challenges: to promote equal opportunities among our employees, and at the same time to promote such equality in the societies in which we carry out our activity. With this motivation we have been working on different initiatives that help us overcome these challenges, with the development of programs such as "Gender Tension Gap", the sponsorship of the third Hackaton CodeFest event for low-income women in Kenya and our contribution to the international organization InspiringGirls, with the objective that young women consider professional careers in the technology industry applied to tourism.
Considering that according to the UN, improving the participation of women in the tourist work area could help tourism companies become more successful through the "gender dividend", relations between the tourism industry and local communities improve, Equitable inclusion between men and women contributes to the economic and social sustainability of the sector, among many others, it is the duty of all companies in the tourism sector to have diversity in the workplace in our agendas.
In a world where tourism presents itself as a growing industry, and the projections of the Ministry of Tourism indicate Ecuador as the second fastest growing country in Latin America and among the ten with the greatest international projection, we trust that working together in education and the growth of current and future generations of women in the industry, it will be possible to achieve the proposed sustainable development goal for 2030: gender equality and equality of leadership opportunities.