On International Women’s Day, UKHospitality has announced the establishment of the UKH Diversity Forum to promote equality and inclusivity in the hospitality sector.

The forum will gather UKH members to share best practice and creative solutions to ensure the sector continues to provide opportunities irrespective of gender, ethnicity, age or sexuality.

UKH helped to establish the Plan B programme, with recruitment experts Odgers Berndtson, BTSport and Elliotts, with the goal of providing mentoring, advice and motivation in the hope of seeing a 50:50 gender split in position shortlists. CEO Kate Nicholls represents the sector on the WiH 2020 campaign, with a similar aim of making a real and lasting difference in gender representation at senior levels in hospitality, travel and leisure. UKH is also a signatory of the Diversity Charter, which it encourages all hospitality businesses to adopt.

Kate Nicholls, said: “One of the hospitality sector’s biggest strengths is its openness and diversity. We see people from all walks of life in our venues as both customers and team members and we want it to continue to be the case. A diverse sector is a strong and resilient sector and UKHospitality’s Diversity Forum will give us a chance to ensure it remains so.

“The hospitality sector has a great record on issues like gender balance and pay. One of our biggest strengths is that we are a true meritocracy that provides opportunities without discrimination. There is, however, more than we can do to ensure that representation is equal at all levels of business, including senior management and board levels.

“Our Diversity Forum will provide members with an opportunity to share best practice and solutions to tackle inequality and promote equality in their businesses and the wider sector. This means tackling issues such as pay but also ensuring that team members are supported and free from harassment or discrimination.
“The scope of the forum will be deliberately wide to make sure that we address any concerns our members and their teams may have and to make hospitality even more welcoming.”