Tourism is a sector that generates income and employment throughout the world, and should not be different among Brazilians. The sector puts the aviation, hotel, gastronomy, entertainment, business, leisure and many other industries in motion. In other words, it is a virtuous cycle that makes the economy turn and has a direct or indirect impact on more than 50 sectors of the market. Today, it is globally configured as the activity responsible for generating 1 in 10 jobs, in a universe that brings together a chain of strategic players.
Solid, consolidated and full of opportunities, the tourism market opens space for the presence of women, and is considered by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as the one that has more opportunities to employ women and minorities because of its scope and chances. This reality of the tourism sector, however, is very different from what is found in society as a whole, where women occupy only 48.5% of the jobs in the world, according to the International Organization. of Labor (ILO), and 43.8%, in Brazil, according to the IBGE.
One point that is worth reflecting on is: Why, in a universe composed mostly of female labor force, do we see so few women in leadership positions? Higher positions still suffer from lack of gender equity. The UNWTO shows that of the total number of functions occupied by women in the sector, only a minority are in strategic or highly qualified positions. Many still hold lower positions and lower salaries.
When we look at the general panorama of our society, we note that this problem is not exclusive to tourism, since in Brazil, according to the IBGE, only 37% of management and management positions are occupied by women. IBGE also deserves a figure that deserves consideration: although with more study, qualification and, consequently, preparation for the labor market, women have less access to careers that pay better and the remuneration is lower when compared with the salary of men.
Shedding light on the issue and underlining the importance of the role of women in the travel and tourism industry is to allow an in-depth evaluation of the positions they have won so far. Having more women in the labor market, in positions of leadership and with salaries that reflect their qualifications and studies is one of the Sustainable Development Goals proposed by the UN, that is, the search for decent work and gender equality are fundamental for a just and developed society.
That also depends on the education and awareness of society. According to a survey conducted by Tree Diversidade in about 600 companies, there is a distortion on the concept of gender. 80% of the people interviewed answered erroneously when asked “What is gender diversity?” Implementing plurality and preparing the environment for that reality is the challenge presented to companies.
The female protagonism in tourism is legitimate. And, as important as recognizing and encouraging women to leadership positions, is the need to create the means to perform on equal terms. We have a significant participation of women in this market, which opens a real possibility of empowerment, since it inserts them into the production environment, in addition to giving them a voice and autonomy to position themselves before society.
The main proposal of this argument is the following: consider the most active participation of women in the labor market from a positive perspective and, above all, highlight the transformative power generated by women’s actions in this sector. In no way am I urging that only one side of the coin be considered, but that the whole can be combined and analyzed more closely at this moment, incorporating the talent, knowledge and preparation that each professional can provide for the reactivation of the sector.
Valuable advice from one who represents a female minority in a leadership position: Inspire yourself and choose a trusted person who can guide and advise you on the executive day. In the next edition of WTM Latin America we will have a panel dedicated to that. The female workforce is mature and self-sufficient to conquer spaces and undertake in this very fertile market.
Whether in Brazil or in the world, there is still a great challenge in various ways. I believe that the evolution of the feminine presence is, without doubt, a contribution of extreme relief.