As the country commemorates the 61st anniversary of the 1956 Women’s March, Women in Tourism added their voices in calling for an equitable industry at the Women in Tourism Networking Breakfast event.
Women in Tourism (WiT) programme is an initiative of the Department of Tourism that brings women together to find solutions to the economic challenges that hinder their entrepreneurial progress in the sector. The 2011 State of Transformation study showed that participation by women in the corporate sector, especially black women was below gazetted targets – with approximately 90% of enterprises not complying to the 10% Black female shareholding.
At INDABA 2017, in an effort te elevate Women in Tourism, Minister Xasa launched the “30in5” campaign to mobilise active transformation focusing on the pillar of Representation. The campaign commits to facilitating the attainment of the 30% target for women participation at executive level in tourism within the next five years.
66 million women worldwide are directly employed by the travel and tourism sector.
Minister Xasa said,
“Our tourism industry has the highest number of women but they are mostly at the entry level, with less than 5% proceeding into executive development posts. As we celebrate Women’s month under the national theme – The Year of OR Tambo: Women United in Moving South Africa Forward, it is critical for us to be mindful of the vital role played by women executives in advancing our economy, especially through tourism.”
She also emphasised that tourism is a key driver of the country’s economy, with an immense potential to fast track radical and economic transformation.