IoH secures Savoy Educational Trust funding to head up EDI for global hospitality sector

The IoH has secured funding from the Savoy Educational Trust (SET), to employ an IoH specialist Head of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), to work as the primary point of contact for the global hospitality sector.

The announcement comes during National Inclusion Week 26 September – 2 October 2022, with the search to find the person for this pivotal role, beginning on Monday 3 October 2022. As IoH CEO Robert Richardson FIH explained: “This is a ground-breaking initiative, and we are grateful that SET has recognised the importance of this role for our industry and provided us with the funding to put our people-centric EDI strategy into place.”

This role will help support the hospitality industry attract talent from a more diverse talent pool, as well as setting up and managing an online IoH EDI business helpline. The role will encompass all aspects of EDI including LGBTQ+, neurodiversity, supporting people from disadvantaged backgrounds, gender reassignment, age, disability, religious beliefs and other important groups.

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Julia Sibley MBE, The Savoy Educational Trust CEO, said: “We commend the Institute of Hospitality in its search for an EDI lead, a role which will support hospitality employers to develop strong equality, diversity and inclusion policies and improve workplaces, so they ultimately attract more people into this wonderful industry. The Savoy Educational Trust’s main aim is to advance and develop education, training, and qualifications within the hospitality industry, so it is a logical step for us to back an initiative which encourages employers to make themselves more attractive to people from all outlooks and backgrounds and widen the talent pool, as well as provide a more welcoming environment for career progression to all.”

As Robert pointed out, as demand for talent continues to exceed supply, employers have to become more agile and more creative at attracting and retaining talent. “Our latest IoH strategy aims to assist the hospitality industry access specialist EDI resources. With the objective of providing access to and helping them retain diverse talent.”

The IoH has been quick to spot the opportunity to assist the industry with EDI, as Robert explains: “As an educational charity, the IoH is in an enviable and unique position to lead the global hospitality sector in EDI. Creating educational resources, Continuing Professional Development (CPD), articles, white papers, case studies and supporting businesses and individuals with EDI strategies and best practices. Diversity change is already here, and more is coming.  It’s about equality, diversity, and inclusion.”

The FTSE 350 company Hampton-Alexander Review published 8 November 2016 and last updated 14 March 2022, stated that 84% of hospitality businesses are not meeting the target of employing 33% of females across all three senior leadership levels – Board, Executive Committee and Direct Reports.

The number of all-male leaders at CEO, CFO and Chair in the sector also fell from 87% in 2018 to 74% in 2019.

With more than 80% of companies in the hospitality sector reporting no representation from ethnic minority backgrounds in leadership roles on their Board or Executive Committee, the good news is there has been an increase at lower management levels over the 2021/22 period.

The last National Census 2021 confirms that in the next 50 years the British white population will reduce in favour of even greater diversity. Significantly, the Office for National Statistics shows that there is a significant increase in people identifying as LGBTQ+.

Robert concluded: “Our aim is to make a significant difference across the hospitality industry with our EDI strategy. Thanks to the SET, we can now start enabling change.”

The EDI job will go live on the IoH’s website on Monday 3 October 2022.

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