Coca Cola’s Susan Gambardella to deliver keynote speech at Women 1st 2013 Conference

Coca Cola’s Susan Gambardella to deliver keynote speech at Women 1st 2013 Conference

Women 1st announced today that the vice president of the global account team for Coca-Cola Refreshments, Susan Gambardella, will highlight the business benefits of women’s professional networks and gender-balanced leadership to the hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism industries, at the 2013 Conference. The Women 1st Conference will be held on 19 June at the London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square.

Gambardella is currently the vice-chair of the influential Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF), headquartered in Dallas, Texas, whose mission it is to advance women’s leadership in the foodservice industry throughout North America. WFF was formed in 1989 and has over 3,700 members. Its corporate members include McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Sodexo, and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. In February, the WFF met with the Obama administration to showcase the organisation’s efforts to support gender balanced leadership.

Susan Gambardella says: “The fact is that gender-balanced boardrooms make commercial sense. To secure senior director positions, it is important to know and meet the right people - and that’s where professional networks play a pivotal role.  Organisations like Women 1st not only facilitate networking events to help women meet others in decision-making positions, they also provide the training and guidance to help women maximise such events. The Women 1st Conference is a must-attend for any woman keen to climb the career ladder.”

Following the conference, Women 1st will announce the winners of its annual Shine Awards, the only awards dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women working in hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism. The awards evening will also see Women 1st induct 25 outstanding women into the prestigious Top 100 Club. The Top 100 Club includes some of the most influential women in hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism, who act as ambassadors and role models for the female leaders of tomorrow.

Sharon Glancy, founder of Women 1st says: “We are very excited to have Susan speak at our conference. In fact, it was a WFF convention that inspired me to set up Women 1st. They demonstrated how women and their employers could benefit from effective mentoring, training and networking opportunities. I was keen to replicate that here in the UK and now the delegates at the 2013 conference can hear first-hand the advantages of gender-balanced leadership and be inspired to drive change in their own organisations.”


Women 1st is the thought leadership, training and mentoring programme for the UK’s hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism industries. It was established after sector skills council People 1st found that whilst nearly 60 percent of the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism workforce is female, only six percent of director level positions are held by women.