Industry gathers to devise a Blueprint for Change when it comes to moving the dial on gender parity
By Amy Bostock
TORONTO — This year’s Women in Tourism & Hospitality Summit (WITH) event took place last week at the Sheraton Centre Toronto, bringing together more than 150 attendees. It was the first time since 2019 that the event has been held in person. Presented by WITHOrg.com (Women in Tourism and Hospitality) in association with Kostuch Media Ltd., (Foodservice and Hospitality magazine, and Hotelier magazine) and Sequel Hotels & Resorts, the sixth-annual WITH Summit brought together individuals and companies committed to a “Blueprint for Change,” and advancing diversity and inclusion in the tourism and hospitality industry.
“This gathering has become a very important focal point for thought leadership and accountability in the areas of diversity and inclusion — all through advocacy, conversations and networking — driven by the power of our desire for collective change,” said Katie Taylor, Honorary Chair of WITH. “And that’s not only in our industries, that’s not only in our companies, but it’s also in our individual careers. This is a day where we have a chance to gather, learn, network, be inspired and take ownership to create our own blueprints for change in one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing industries.”
This year’s live event was a chance to build momentum for change during a time when change is the only constant, said Rosanna Caira, editor/publisher, KML and WITH co-founder. “After a very challenging period of upheaval for everyone, both personally and professionally, we come together this year to design a better future for women and for diversity and inclusion. After talking about this for so long, we need to now move from discussion to action. Like Nike has always said, ‘just do it,’ and that will necessitate a blueprint for change.”
“Coming together at Summit gives us the chance to learn and then use this platform to amplify this work across the country and collaborate with others across the globe,” said Anne Larcade, president & CEO of Sequel Hotels and co-founder, WITH. “Only when this happens can we truly make significant strides.”
The event kicked off with a Fireside Chat featuring Maryann Turcke and Katie Taylor. The former COO of the NFL and former president of Bell Media talked about her trajectory leading multi-million companies and her role as one of the most powerful women in sports, media and IT.
Throughout the day, panels featured leaders from different segments of the tourism-and-hospitality industry who are making diversity and inclusion a priority in their businesses, and driving higher profits by doing so. Attendees also took part in workshops on mental health & wellness; compensation, gender equity; access to capital and development.
Check your inbox on Wednesday, September 28 for full WITH Summit coverage in Hospitality Headlines.