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Diageo Announces International Speaker Line-Up For Inaugural Women In Hospitality And Tourism In Asia Conference

February 7, 2014 Conferences No Comments Email Email

International advocates for women’s empowerment in the travel industry – including senior executives from Hilton Worldwide, Banyan Tree, Accor, Glion Institute of Higher Education and others, will gather in Singapore for the inaugural ‘Women In Hospitality and Tourism in Asia’ Conference, organised by  Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks company.

The conference, titled ‘Women in Hospitality and Tourism in Asia’, is held in partnership with Hilton Worldwide and with knowledge partner, Singapore Committee for UN Women. It will take place on 7 March 2014, just before International Women’s Day (Saturday, 8 March), at Hilton Singapore.

The travel and tourism industry will create an estimated 73 million jobs over the next decade and two-thirds of those jobs will be in Asia. As many of these jobs will be filled by women, this makes the industry a key contributor to women’s empowerment. The one day conference will address the opportunities surrounding women’s employment in the hospitality and tourism industry and the role that the industry can play in attracting, developing, protecting and promoting them.

“Women play a crucial role across the industry whether as employees, suppliers, or consumers; therefore, empowering them is a big part of our duty and identity. For us, women’s empowerment means activating a sustained change in protecting, growing and improving the livelihoods of thousands of women in the communities in which we operate. We are very proud to be presenting this important conference, as it allows us to contribute towards making an impact that is sustainable into the future, and inevitably make a difference in an issue that is far more important than our own business and supply chain,” said Gilbert Ghostine, President, Diageo Asia Pacific.

Professor Thomas Baum from the University of Strathclyde in the UK will share his findings and recommendations on the roles that women play within the industry, based on his research for the International Labour Organisation on “International Perspectives on Women and Work in Hotels, Catering and Tourism”.

Three high profile executives from Laureate Hospitality Education (LHE) – Judy Hou, CEO, Glion Institute of Higher Education,Emily Williams Knight, President, Kendall College and Sonia Tatar, Director General/CEO, Les Roches Worldwide – will form a panel on higher education in the hospitality sector. LHE is a member of the Laureate International Universities network, which is made up of more than 70 accredited campus-based and online institutions of higher educations, serving more than 780,000 students in 29 countries.

Tim Bishop of CARE International, a leading humanitarian organisation, will share his views on gender equity and diversity in the workplace. The session is expected to showcase initiatives which aim to educate and empower women in the industry, through a combination of skills training and increased awareness of workplace rights and safety.

Other notable speakers include Claire Chang, Managing Director of Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, Christine Rumble, Vice President of Learning and Development, Accor, Su-Mei Thompson, CEO of The Women’s Foundation among others.

The conference is an initiative under Diageo’s community strategy, ‘Plan W: Empowering Women through Learning’. Launched in 2012, Plan W aims to reach women of all socio-economic profiles through training and skills development, to empower two million women in 17 countries in Asia-Pacific over five years.  Further affirming its commitment to this cause, Diageo became the first beverage alcohol company in 2012 to sign up to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (UNWEP) to promote gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community.

For more information and conference registration details, please visit:

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