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Award Ceremony ITB Berlin | 8 March 2023

Equality in Tourism International is proud to launch our Award for Commitment to Gender Equality

This international award is the first of its kind.

It recognises tourism organisations that display excellence in their commitment to gender equality.

It will reward gender equality leaders and highlight their best practises for replication and development across the industry.

It aims to drive improvement and celebrate success, encouraging tourism businesses to integrate gender equality into their policies and work practices.  

This award will be presented to the winners at the next ITB Berlin, the world’s biggest tourism trade fair.

Applications have now closed.

2023 Judging Panel

Stay tuned for more Judges to be announced.

Dr Stroma Cole profile photo

Dr. Stroma Cole

Director at Equality in Tourism and senior lecturer in tourism at the University of Westminster, London. She has done extensive research exploring tourism and water inequality in Labuan Bajo Indonesia; Tamarindo, Costa Rica; Kerala, India; and Bali, Indonesia. She is holder of a British Academy Knowledge Frontiers Award exploring the links between water insecurity and Gender Based Violence in Indonesia and Peru. 

Maud Masiyiwa

Maud Masiyiwa

Founding Board member of the Meadowlands Tourism Development Centre and Ndofaya Cooking School in Soweto, South Africa. She also established one of the first wholly black female-owned and managed retail travel agencies in Sandton, post Apartheid South Africa and hosted the first SADC regional dialogue on Women Empowerment in the Tourism Industry in 2014. 

Lucy Ferguson

Lucy is an international specialist in gender issues in tourism, following her PhD on the topic in 2007. She has collaborated with UNWTO since 2010, and was the Lead Consultant for the Global Report in Women in Tourism, 2nd Edition. As part of the current UNWTO Centre Stage project, she has produced the “Gender Mainstreaming Guidelines for the Public Sector in Tourism”  and the “Gender-inclusive Strategy for Tourism Businesses” 

K T Suresh

K T Suresh is on the board of Equations, a research, policy, and advocacy organisation working on tourism and development issues in India, often with a focus on women and gender equality.

For the past 37 years, Suresh has been heavily involved in the discourse surrounding sustainable tourism at the national, regional, and global levels, with a focus on India and South/Southeast Asia. He has worked in the arenas of alternative tourism, ecological concerns in tourism, conservation dialogues within tourism, and spatial and economic planning in tourism. 

Rika Jean Francois

Commissioner ITB Corporate Social Responsibility. She serves on the board of the IGLTA Foundation, of the Pacific Asian Travel Association (PATA) and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)

Michelle Mason

Michelle Mason is a highly experienced HR professional with 20 years of management experience, specialising in recruitment. She is passionate about ethical recruitment and promoting equity, diversity and inclusion.

Currently the Ethical Recruitment Programme Manager for the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, Michelle works with the hospitality industry to raise awareness of risks in the recruitment process and supports hotels to implement ethical recruitment and due diligence processes. She is passionate about making a change in the hospitality industry and is driven by her commitment to help others.

Meet our Award Sponsors

We’re excited to announce that the first Gender Equality Champion of the Year Award for the tourism and hospitality sector will be sponsored by the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (the Alliance).

The Alliance drives collaborative action to enable the hospitality industry to have a lasting positive impact on the planet and its people. By working with CEOs and C-suite representatives from across the hospitality industry, alongside strategic partners, they are able to implement strategic action worldwide to create a prosperous and responsible hospitality sector that gives back to the destination more than it takes.

Their members have a reach of 7 million rooms and include world-leading hotel companies well as regional brands. Their network also includes other parts of the hospitality value chain, including owners, investors and suppliers, to further drive joined up action on sustainability, and accelerate the industry on the path to net positive hospitality.

Find out more about the work that they do:

Be the first tourism organisation to ever be awarded
Gender Champion of the Year.

Celebrate your success

Recognise the hard work of your team, praising their innovation and dedication to addressing gender equality.

Gain a competitive edge

Showcase your organisation as one that is leading the way towards the industry’s sustainability goals.

Create Global Change

Set an industry example for ways in which organisations can support gender equality in the workplace.

Applications are now closed.

Wherever we refer to ‘women’ and ‘men’ in the questionnaire it includes people who identify as women or men, but may not be biological men or women. Your personal information entered in the online application forms will only be used to process your application for the award, we will not share your information with third parties.

Should you have any questions about the awards, please don’t hesitate to email us at

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