Travel firm hosts consultancy marathon to raise money for charity

19 March 2019 Consultancy.uk

A communications consultancy has announced it will perform a ‘consulting marathon’ to raise money for a charity based in Africa. SEO Travel will offer a 12-hour consulting surgery to as many small travel businesses as possible, while raising money for the cause.

SEO Travel has been helping travel companies improve their online presence since 2011. The firm works with a wide range of global travel brands who it helps develop brand visibility online through SEO, social media, PR and other techniques. Based in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, the firm works to create engaging campaigns that increase brand awareness and drive more business and sales in a sustainable way.

The professional services firm has announced that as of the 21st of March, it will be offering these services to small travel businesses as part of a charity fundraising drive. The session will last 12 hours straight, and offers the chance for a 30-minute session, which travel companies can sign up for at the SEO Travel website. The marathon session will help small travel businesses which wouldn’t usually be able to afford a respectable and trustworthy agency’s advice.

Travel firm hosts consultancy marathon to raise money for charity

As well as helping small businesses, the event is also being used as an opportunity to raise money for charity, with SEO Travel donating to Tanzanian safari charity ‘Care with a View’ for each person that signs up, as well as asking businesses taking part to make a small donation of £10 themselves. The event will run from 8am to 8pm UK and is open to anyone around the world.

It will run by SEO Travel founder Tom McLoughlin, bringing more than 10 years of experience to the table. He explained, “I’ve got the team here on standby to order pizzas and bring me Tangfastics on demand throughout the day!”

According to Mcloughlin, while there is a lot of marketing advice on the internet, the volume of information is so high that it's impossible for small firms to tell what will help and what will hurt their company. He concluded, “With the ‘Charity Travel Marketingathon Bonanza’ we want to take away the part of not knowing so these businesses can go away with clear, actionable tactics that will help grow their business.”

Related: Charity football cup sees Hays consultants raise £3,000 for Action for Children.

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Women remain underrepresented in UK's hospitality industry leadership

12 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Female engagement at the top level of the UK hospitality industry is still lagging, with the vast majority of decision-making roles continue to be held by men. Only 7% of the industry’s FTSE 350 CEOs are women; however, the pay gap in hospitality and leisure is far better than in other industries, at a median of approximately 7%.

The hospitality, travel and leisure (HTL) sector is one of the UK’s largest employers, with 3.2 million people working in its segments. Despite a poor 2018 in terms of tightening consumer spending, the industry is still one of the top sectors in terms of economic activity, hitting £130 billion last year – besting the UK’s automotive, pharmaceutical and aeronautical sectors’ combined activities.

While the industry is one of the country’s largest employers, it still faces considerable issues around diversity at the top. New analysis from PwC has explored the matter, as well what initiatives the industry has engaged to open up its top ranks to a more diverse background.

Female representation at board level for UK companies and HTLs

According to a survey of CEOs, Chairs or HR Directors of over 100 of the most significant leisure businesses across the UK, the hospitality industry has a relatively male-dominated top level. This lags behind the FTSE 100, where companies have female board level representation at 32.2%. Meanwhile, the figure for the combined executive committee and direct reports stands at 28%. This is well above FTSE 250 levels, where female board level representation stands at 22.4% and executive committee & direct reports stand at 27.8%.

For the hospitality industry as a whole, board level representation came in at 23.6%, with FTSE 350 for the industry performing slightly better at 25.1%, while non-listed companies performed considerably worse at 18.2%. The firm notes that the figures hide that while some companies are making strides to improve equality, others are not moving forward – with the positive result reflecting more often the good work of some, while others are not taking the issue seriously in their agenda setting.

Blind spot

The study states, however, that while the overall numbers are relatively strong, the industry has a number of acute weaknesses. These include CEO numbers, with only 7% of HTL FTSE 350 companies helmed by women and 11% of non-listed companies led by female CEOs. Meanwhile, female chairs at FTSE 350 companies for the sector stand at zero. In terms of wider diversity representation, only 1 in 33 leaders at industry companies is from a BAME background.

Pay gap for HTL and hospitality

The report noted discrepancies between FTSE 100 companies and FTSE 250 in terms of improving the number of women at executive level. The majority have met the Hampton-Alexander Review target of 33% women at board level, up from around 25% in 2016. However, the remaining ~40% are not on target, and are unlikely to meet the target by 2020. A similar trend is noted when it comes to executive committee and direct reporting numbers.

Jon Terry, Diversity & Inclusion Consulting Leader at PwC, said, "To make real progress in diversity and inclusion, businesses need to elevate it onto the CEO’s agenda and align diversity & inclusion strategy to the fundamentals of the business."

Tracking progress FTSE 250 level

However, one area where hospitality travel and leisure companies are outperforming other companies in the wider UK economy, is the mean and median pay gap between men and women. PwC found that the median of the wider UK economy comes is approximately 14% – with upper quartile companies noted for a gap of low 20%, and lower quartile companies noted for differences of around 2%.

The median pay gap for HTL comes in at well below 7%, with the median close to parity. There are considerable differences, however, with hospitality at 7%, while travel comes in considerably higher, at 22%. The latter figure reflects fewer women in higher paid pilot and technical positions within the industry.