“Diversity is critical; if we have a greater mix of employees, that drives better profitability.”
So says easyJet’s UK country director Sophie Dekkers in an interview with TTG this week. It’s a refreshing statement from a forward-thinking company in a sector that, despite what many travel figures believe, has been far slower than others to wake up to the issue of diversity and inclusivity (D&I).
A 2018 McKinsey & Company report notes more ethnically diverse boards are 43% more likely to outperform on profits. It was heartening then to see D&I placed firmly on travel’s agenda at last week’s Barclays Travel Forum. Because, as Wendy Papworth, head of diversity and inclusion at Barclays, points out, D&I is a “business challenge” that all companies should be tackling.
It was less positive to note, however, that when asked whether the travel industry does enough to support D&I in the workplace, 80% of the (largely white male) audience voted yes – tellingly, the few women present seemed to disagree.
Over the past few months, TTG Media has in partnership with PwC conducted research examining exactly this. And an early glimpse of the results suggests the travel industry could be in for a shock.
The full report will be revealed at the TTG Diversity & Inclusion in Travel conference on 3 July. But no matter how big – or small – your company, it’s worth ensuring D&I is firmly on your agenda. Because as firms gear up for a (potential) post-Brexit world, their business success will lie in attracting people with the right talent.
“We’ll keep challenging ourselves for the good of the business,” Dekkers insists. And we at TTG will keep challenging the travel industry.