The Voice of the Cruise Industry

How cruise can embrace equality and create meaningful change

How cruise can embrace equality


In the second part of our coverage of International Women’s Day and equality, APT UK & Europe sales and commercial manager Angela Waite explains how the cruise industry can create a more inclusive, productive and fulfilling environment.

On International Women’s Day (IWD), it is a joy to see women and their achievements being celebrated at scale.

Companies in all sectors are using the IWD platform to publicly recognise the brilliant women that support, shape and lead their businesses.

This kind of visibility helps to inspire future generations to achieve their goals and is key when it comes to creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive future for all.

Overall, the travel industry, in which 54 per cent of those employed are women, can vocalise its support for IWD in good conscience.

Domestically, many travel businesses – APT included – have embraced the sort of flexible working that empowers women, and nowhere is this evidenced more greatly than by the massive rise in homeworking agents.

Travel also empowers women in remote or marginalised communities right around the world, creating income and opportunity that might otherwise be unavailable. Certainly, tourism is a sector that has made great strides when it comes to embracing and promoting equality.

Gender equality creates innovation

Of course, there is more work to be done, and sustained and concerted efforts to drive gender equality in cruising will have numerous benefits for our sector. Firstly, it can lead to increased productivity and innovation.

Studies have shown that diverse teams are more creative and better problem solvers. Secondly, promoting gender parity will improve customer satisfaction.

Leaning into this year’s IWD theme, cruise operators can #EmbraceEquality by implementing or amplifying their existing diversity training to help employees understand the importance of gender equality and how to create an inclusive workplace for their teams.

Introducing or increasing mentorship opportunities for the women in their business can help them advance in their careers and break through the glass ceiling.

Lastly, the industry can tackle unconscious bias in the hiring process by using blind CVs and diverse interview panels.

In acknowledging the cruise sector’s current gender disparities, understanding the benefits of equality, offering visibility to women beyond International Women’s Day itself with representation throughout the year, and implementing meaningful change, our industry can create a more inclusive, productive and fulfilling environment for everyone.

That is something truly worth embracing.

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