Published on : Friday, December 13, 2019
Alessandra Alonso, founder of Women in Travel (CIC), the social enterprise dedicated to empowering women through employability and entrepreneurship in the travel industry, has been recognised by NatWest WISE100 as a top 100 leading woman in social enterprise.
The annual NatWest WISE100 recognises the most inspiring and influential women in social enterprise, impact investment and mission-driven business. Names were selected from almost 300 nominations submitted by the public, with the final 100 revealed at a special celebration event at NatWest’s conference centre in Bishopsgate, central London.
Alessandra is a women’s champion in the travel, tourism and hospitality sector and has continually worked to support women’s advancement in the industry. Since 2017, when Alessandra founded Women in Travel (CIC), she has facilitated 17 events at leading travel industry trade show World Travel Market in four continents; launched a BAME initiative to support women from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities; and established the Women Returners programme, which partners with charities such as Crisis UK and the Refugee Council to identify, train and match talented women from marginalised communities with employers looking to hire.
Alessandra has also recently been shortlisted as a finalist for the UK Social Enterprise Awards and in January 2020, Alessandra will co-host the first International Women in Travel & Tourism Forum. The inaugural Forum aims to encourage those in the travel industry to better articulate their vision of a gender-inclusive industry. This came about as a result of a discussion at a World Travel Market 2018 panel debate celebrating the 100th anniversary of Women’s suffrage where Alessandra sat alongside the Forum’s three additional innovators: Eliza Reid, the First Lady of Iceland; Zina Bencheikh, the Regional General Manager for Europe, Middle East and North Africa at PEAK DMC; and Jo Phillips, Chief People Officer at Carnival UK. Unlike other events tackling gender imbalance in the workplace, Forum delegates must commit to attend in a duo: to qualify, an executive-level senior leader must pledge to attend with and host a next-generation female colleague.
Commenting on being shortlisted, Alessandra said that she is delighted and honoured to have been recognised by NatWest WISE100. Her social enterprise Women in Travel (CIC) works tirelessly to support women’s advancement in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry by providing women from all walks of life with employability and entrepreneurship skills. She hoped that her recognition will help further raise awareness of the causes and passions close to her heart.