This week MTV hit headlines around the world with its noteworthy decision to introduce the first gender neutral awards.
The move was praised by stars such as Emma Watson, who, upon being honoured with the best actor award for her role in Beauty and the Beast, commented: “To me it indicates that acting is about the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and that doesn’t need to be separated into two different categories.”
Her point could be applied to any profession. There are few roles today where gender is relevant to the person’s ability to carry out the job, not least in travel. Which is why it was disheartening to learn that females in our industry still regularly earn less than their male counterparts.
I’m lucky enough to work in a company which wholeheartedly champions women – the number of females in senior positions at TTG Media is testament to this – and it is reassuring to see this ethos reflected in a number of other companies within travel.
Alison Zacher, retail managing director UK and Ireland at Flight Centre, for instance, explains this week how she has encouraged the specific mentoring of females within the company.
And as proof of just how effective such mentoring can be, TTG 30 Under 30 participant Kate Holroyd hails Nicole Eaves, founder of Garstang Travel (overall winner of TTG’s Top 50 Travel Agencies 2016), for encouraging her to launch a homeworking venture.
Travel is of course not alone in the challenges it faces with boosting gender equality. But the more that firms take steps to address this, the more level the playing field will become. And that would be a headline worth reading.
Someone else familiar with making headlines is Lord Michael Cashman. He caused outrage 30 years ago when his character Colin Russell had the first gay kiss on national TV. “Eastbenders” screamed The Sun, while The Star raged at this “filth” on TV. We’ve come a long way since then, in part due to Cashman’s work. Hear his story at the TTG LGBT Conference on July 3.