Jon Terry, PwC’s UK diversity and inclusion (D&I) consulting leader questioned delegates at the first TTG Diversity & Inclusion in Travel conference. Good point.
His comment came after a first-of-its-kind survey by PwC and TTG Media into D&I in travel found 80% of travel bosses surveyed said they “don’t believe D&I is a barrier to progression in their organisation”, yet only 20% admitted to actually analysing this.
And keynote speaker Melanie Eusebe, chair of the Black British Business Awards, insisted: “What gets measured, gets done.” Put bluntly, if you’re not measuring your progress on D&I, then you have absolutely zero idea if you’re achieving anything.
Such conclusions will likely come as a surprise to the travel firms claiming to take D&I seriously, or to those (and there are many) who insist the UK travel industry is a diverse and inclusive sector.
Yes, travel is a predominantly female industry. But why then are fewer than 25% of board members across the sector female? And if travel is so diverse, why do non-white attendees at most industry conferences typically number fewer than 5%?
Interestingly, this was not the case at the TTG Diversity & Inclusion in Travel conference, which we proudly believe had the most diverse speaker line-up and audience of any travel conference.
Yet this, as Terry pointed out, is part of the problem. “We need more… white middle-aged straight males at conferences on this topic. [They] need to be agents of change… or nothing will change.”
Whatever you believed previously, data shows the travel industry does have a problem with D&I. There are ways to change this (download the full report at ttgmedia.com), but everybody needs to be onboard if we are to make a difference.