Liz Tapawa, President of Skal Nairobi has reaffirmed the club’s commitment to empower more women and create avenues for the Kenyan youth. In an interview, she stated that measures are underway to facilitate more youth involvement in Skal Kenya.
“We have the young Skalites side of the club where we have young people who joined very young. Some of them we sponsor, and some are able to pay for themselves. We also work with young people from colleges within Kenya whom we invite to Skal to see what we do so that in the future when they are stabilizing their career, they can join Skal.”
She elaborated on what Skal Nairobi is doing to facilitate women’s participation and empowerment in tourism and hospitality. She confirmed that training and mentorship sessions are being organized for women. This is being done under the auspices of the Kenyan Association of Women in Tourism where the latter is an ardent member.
“We are doing a lot of mentorship under the Kenyan Association of Women in Tourism. We are going to colleges again; we are working with the hospitality schools. We have our members every month engaged in the schools where they are mentoring our young students. And when we are doing the mentorship we are mentoring not only women but all the students. That at the end of the day, we want the young women in the hospitality sector to know that there is an opportunity for them to take up these positions when we are long gone. So we are preparing the future through the Kenyan Association of Women in Tourism through our mentorship programs which is a very strong program. Every hotel school in Kenyan is working with us and a few other universities.”
According to the president of Skal Nairobi, in addition to these measures is a conscious effort to improve women’s participation and representation in the tourism and hospitality sector. In her view, it is imperative, to ensure a balance.
“It is an ongoing process; it is a work in progress. For example, where I work we have a good representation of women leaders in this hotel in terms of our staffing we have a good balance of male and female employees within where I work. It has to start where I am. Then you can be able to look at other organizations and say what you are doing about ensuring that you have placed women strategically and ensuring that the numbers come out to balance”.
So we are doing it every day. It is a continuous process. It is something that you wake up and say now we have done it. We have to continue reminding ourselves, reminding the people that we work with that there must be space for women in every organization.”
Skal is a professional organization of tourism leaders who are promoting global tourism and friendship. It is the only international group uniting all branches of tourism and travel industry.