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New initiative launches to help unemployed women into industry

Women in Travel CIC, the social enterprise founded by Alessandra Alonso, has launched Women Returners

Pictured: Alessandra Alonso

Women in Travel CIC, the social enterprise founded by travel industry professional Alessandra Alonso, has launched Women Returners, an initiative helping unemployed women into travel and tourism jobs.

Working with homelessness charity Crisis, Women in Travel will support and train women who have been out of work. Companies partnering on the initiative include MTR Crossrail, Georgian House Hotel, UnderTheDoormat, digital marketers Digital Dialog and Diamondair.

Those enrolled on Women Returners will be given a one week training course where employers can meet and interview women with the view to providing either full time jobs or short term paid internships at the end of the programme. The first programme begins on 29 January 2018 and will offer women employment opportunities with the industry partners.

Founder of Women in Travel, Alessandra Alonso, said: “This is a first for the industry and I am very excited about the opportunities that the sector can offer to these women who want to be economically active but have been prevented by sometimes challenging, personal circumstances. I am also excited about what the women have to offer to the industry. They are motivated, often very experienced and keen to demonstrate their commitment to available employers. It is a win-win”

Merilee Karr, founder and CEO of UnderTheDoormat, added: “As a fast-growing start-up, at UnderTheDoormat, we are continuously looking for new additions to our team. We are excited to work with Alessandra on her programme as it’s a great way to support talented women and help them shape a better future. With hospitality in our DNA it is a great opportunity to welcome new women into our industry.”

Companies who wish to join are asked to pay a membership fee that goes towards the set up and training. In exchange companies enjoy benefits including being able to display the Women Returners Logo and getting free mentoring training for employees.

To find out or join the programme please contact Alessandra on 07801269374 or email

  • alessandra alonso of women in travel cic 11/04/2018

    HI Martin, thank you for your comments and apologies I have only just seen it!
    I run a social enterprise dedicated to empower women through employability and entrepreneurship in travel tourism and hospitality and gender is my focus. I feel very strong that for societies to be sustainable women need to be at their core, economically active and empowered. Research shows that across the world when women earn ten people eat. So that is the ultimate reason if you like. In the more contingent context, TTH is an industry that attracts a lot of women already but many are not retained and yet talent shortage is a very serious issue. So hopefully this programme also serves the purpose of readdressing the shortage and creatively turning invisible and out of reach talent into visible and actively engaged one. Do email me if you want to talk more!

  • Martin Ellis of Team Umbrella Ltd 04/01/2018

    A very noble cause. But why specifically for women? The travel and events is one where women vastly outnumber men already; besides, are unemployed men somehow less valuable?

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