Women in Travel cic is the UK based, award winning social enterprise dedicated to empowering ALL women using travel, tourism and hospitality as a ‘force for good’. We believe that empowered women thrive and in turn, foster thriving communities.
Women in Travel cic partners with employers and charities to provide all women – especially marginalised, vulnerable, and underrepresented – with visibility, confidence, access to training, mentoring and eventually employment and enterprising.
Travel, tourism, and hospitality employers often struggle to find good staff – and this issue has been compounded by Brexit and Covid. WE CAN HELP by providing access to a pool of skilled individuals from a diverse background who are eager to get back to work.
In 2020 we have helped over 150 women through 1200 hours of guided support!
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Alessandra Alonso, MBA, MSc – Founder
Alessandra is the pluri-nominated, award-winning founder and MD of Women in Travel cic and a professional with 20 years of experience in travel and tourism.
Alessandra started her career as a trainee in Tourism at the European Commission and later gained senior roles in companies including The World Travel & Tourism Council and KPMG. She subsequently pursued her passion for supporting women and diversity more generally by setting up consultancy Shine and co-founding the Shine Awards for Women’s Achievement in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality in 2004.
Recognised as a trailblazer in the sector and an expert in gender empowerment and mentoring, Alessandra is also a keynote speaker and regular contributor to publications.
She was awarded the JourneyWoman Award in 2021 for her lifetime dedication to gender empowerment. She has been named one of 9 women transforming travel by the Matador Network; one of 50 ‘most important women in travel’ by Wonderlust Travel and recently completed the Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from the University of South Florida.
Employability Programme Manager
In 2021, Saumya relocated to the United Kingdom to pursue her Master’s degree in Social Psychology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is deeply committed to understanding and influencing human behaviour in order to better society. She previously managed a travel startup in Mumbai, India, which required her to travel to 13 different countries. She has worked in business development in a variety of industries, including travel, events, and ad tech. Saumya also spent nearly a year in a small Vietnamese village teaching English to children and young adults. She has also always volunteered on the side to alleviate poverty and combat human trafficking and has worked for an NGO in Dharavi, Mumbai’s largest slum, as well as an NGO in Kamathipura, one of the World’s busiest red-light districts.
In her free time, she enjoys dancing and actually trained and worked as a professional jazz dancer during her undergraduate studies. She also enjoys cooking and trying new cuisines, as well as physical activities such as hiking and running.
Male Allyship Network Coordinator
Simona was born in Vilnius, Lithuania and in her childhood, she actively travelled with her parents in Europe by car, motorbike, bicycle, and campervan. She has always been an adventurer, building tents, camping in the wild, and exploring the world through raw, unique and sometimes rough adventures.
In the summer of 2017, at the age of 17, she got a chance to live and work as a model in Shanghai, China. The experience of a new culture was so unique that she has never stopped travelling since. Simona has already lived in China, the UK, Italy, Germany and the US and has visited over 30 countries.
Her biggest loves are adventure travel, road cycling, rollerblading, skiing, writing, and learning.
Simona graduated with Tourism & Hospitality Business Degree in the UK, and after writing her dissertation on women’s empowerment through solo travel, she now aims to research, contribute and create more opportunities for women in the travel industry.
She is an advocate of self-love, women empowerment, an active lifestyle and personal growth.
Tour Guiding Academy Business Mentor
Klaudija strongly believes business can be a force for good in the world. She is a tourism expert with over 15 years of experience in helping purpose-led global organizations grow and scale, spotting innovative opportunities to become first in the marketplace and in building remote and in-person global communities. She possesses the agility and interpersonal skills that have built strong commercial relationships from start-ups to international brands like Amazon, The New York Times, Lonely Planet, MasterCard, Hilton, Google, Expedia and more.
Women in Travel (CIC) could not be where it is today without the support of some remarkable, committed and experienced industry professionals. They are: