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Phuket Hotels Association, the non-profit organisation of hoteliers focused on creating a positive future for Phuket, and C9 Hotelworks, the award-winning hospitality consultancy, will continue to drive the agenda for equality, diversity and inclusivity in the hospitality industry as it hosts the second annual edition of “Mind the Gap: Women & Diversity in Hospitality”, an important and empowering conference that will address the critical issues facing women in the workplace.

Staged on Saturday 31st August 2024 at SAii Laguna Phuket’s Similan Ballroom, this half-day learning event will feature a series of key talks, frank discussions and immersive workshops that will confront conventional thinking and create meaningful solutions to a range of issues. Leading the conversation will be keynote speaker Anchalika Kijkanakorn, the successful Founder & Managing Director of Akaryn Hospitality Management Services, an award-winning, wellness-focused boutique hotel management company, who will discuss the opportunities and challenges of being a “Woman Leader”.

“I am delighted to be part of Mind the Gap, which is such an important summit for women in our industry. There are so many highly successful women in hospitality who are breaking down boundaries and making a positive difference. I look forward to meeting many more inspirational leaders and up-and-coming stars, exchanging ideas and sharing our stories in Phuket on 31 August,” said Anchalika.

Other speakers will include prominent female executives and entrepreneurs, as well as men who are making a difference in the fight for equality. Airline pilot and TEDx speaker Christina Ho will outline why “Diversity and Inclusion is Important Today”, while Kirsten Fletcher, Australian Consul-General in Phuket, will tackle the topic of “Managing Success at Work and with a Family”, and Nikki Phinyapincha, Founder of TransTalent Consulting Group, will address the unique challenges of being “LBGTQ+ in the Hospitality Workplace”.

Max Simpson, Founder & CEO of Steps, will lead a talk on how hospitality is “Leading the Way for Neurodiverse Employment”, Patteera Maneesri, Vice President of HR & Brand Culture at S Hotels & Resorts, will reveal “The Power of Inspiration” and why the industry needs female role models, and Naureen Ahmed, Founder of Inspiring Women in Hospitality, will highlight the relevance of “Networking and Building Meaningful Connections”. On the key topic of mindfulness, David Boucher of Bumrungrad International Hospital Phuket and Paul Hawco of Banyan Wellness Academy will focus on the importance of “Understanding Mental Health and Wellbeing”.

An insightful panel discussion will also glean the views of three highly successful “Female Leaders in the Restaurant Industry”: Samantha Häberli, Founder of Earth House Bangkok & Plant-based Holistic Nutritionist for Soneva, Atchara Wongthai Palleros, Wine Training Manager & Sommelier at Tops Wine Cellar, and Tipaporn Phianthong, Chef de Cuisine at Banyan Group.

Finally, on the subject of DEI (Diversity, Inclusion, Equity) training, Papungkron Numprasit, F&B Instructor & Supervisor in the Sustainable Hospitality Challenge, Dusit Thani College, will be leading “A Short Course on How We Can Embed DEI Training For Our Hospitality Peers”.

“The inaugural edition of Mind the Gap in 2022 was attended by over 100 delegates, which shows how the event captured the imagination of women and men alike. By addressing the critical issues facing women in hospitality, we can provide important input into how professionals can overcome gender-specific challenges, improve their mindfulness, achieve a positive work-life balance, and build highly rewarding professional careers. We look forward to welcoming even more guests to this year’s edition,” said Jayne MacDougall, Executive Director, Phuket Hotels Association.

“Hospitality has always been an industry where women play a vital role, and this event will gather many of the most talented and successful female leaders. Sadly, it is a worrying fact that women still face challenges in the workplace and that men still command the majority of senior leadership positions. By continuing to raise these important issues, we want to keep the conversation flowing and empower the next generation of women in hospitality to create a bright future for the entire industry,” commented Viona Zhang, Deputy Managing Director, C9 Hotelworks.

“Mind the Gap: Women & Diversity in Hospitality” will take place on Saturday 31st August 2024, from 13.30-17.00 hrs. The event is priced at THB 500 (payable at the door) and THB 100 for students, with all proceeds being donated to the Phuket Hotels Association’s training fund.

 





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