Institute of Hospitality announce Future Forum to tackle diversity and inclusion
The Institute of Hospitality (IoH) has announced it has established its first ‘Future Forum’ to address disability, diversity, and inclusion issues across the hospitality industry, chaired by Kelly-Marie Staunton MIH, Assistant Front of House Manager at Champneys Health Resorts, Mottram Hall, Cheshire, UK.
With the vision to develop strategies that promote and nurtures education around the diversity of talent and inclusion across the IoH and the wider hospitality industry, the Forum is a prestigious line-up of 10 hospitality professionals. With joint vice-chair, Fiona Jarvis, Founder of Blue Badge Style and Blue Badge Access Awards; joint vice-chair, Dr Maria Gebbels MIH, Senior Lecturer in Hospitality Management, University of Greenwich, London; Sean Wheeler BEM FIH and former Acorn winner, Sean Wheeler Consultancy Ltd; Past Acorn winner Gabrielle Le Roux (Assoc CIPD) MIH, Food & Beverage Partner, Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland; Paul Gilley FIH & IoH Supervisory Board Member, Managing Director, PJ Search; Gregory Hall MIH, Senior Operations Manager, Bartlett and Mitchell, London; Elizabeth Mistry, Freelance Writer and Editor, Print and Digital Media Ltd; James Clark MIH, Deputy GM, Red Carnation Hotel Collection and Robert Richardson FIH, IoH CEO.
The Forum consider that there is an urgent need for employers to recognise all types of disability, including invisible ones and have started work with momentum to gather information from IoH members and across the industry. Focused on supporting UN Sustainable Development goals 5, Gender equality, 8, Decent Work & Economic growth, and 10, reduced Inequalities, the Forum will look to meet specific strategic diversity and inclusion objectives to tackle issues around: Leadership, Learning and development, physical environment adjustments; Retention, Customers, Procurement and Communication & Technology. One outcome already agreed will be to provide a Disability and Diversity Check List for Employers.
Commenting on her role as chair of the newly developed IoH Future Forum, Kelly Marie Staunton MIH said: “I am delighted to be chairing such an important group for the IoH and working alongside such talent. This Forum has a great deal to cover in helping move the issue of disability, diversity, and inclusion into the mainstream. It is important that the industry employs a diverse workforce and reflects the society in general and then shares best practices. It is also crucial that our employees are properly trained, and we break down some of the barriers that stop people from being employed if it’s perceived to fall into the ‘too difficult category’, she concluded.
As IoH’s CEO, Robert Richardson FIH is enthusiastic about where the Forum may take the IoH and the industry: “Establishing the IoH Future Forum, is the logical next step in our diversity and inclusion strategy. We genuinely want to hear from our members and non-members about their stories so we can aim to accommodate and irradicate some of the issues that face this part of our society. I am looking forward to seeing the outcomes from the Forum as they begin their work. Our hospitality family embraces change, and I see the IoH Future Forum as a change-maker.”