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Judging panel unveiled for IWTTF Awards

Judging panel unveiled for IWTTF Awards

Social enterprise Women in Travel CIC has announced a series of industry-leading names on the judging panel of its inaugural IWTTF Awards.

The International Women in Travel and Tourism Forum (IWTTF) Awards will take place for the first time in June this year, celebrating diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries, and entries are now open.

The panel of judges includes:

  • Dr Albert Kimbu, head of travel and transport at University of Surrey
  • Amanda Mason, head of marketing at Road Chef
  • Andrew Clarke, commercial director at the Business Travel Association
  • Byron Shirto, chief executive of Inspire Global
  • Chantal Potgieter, founder of Themba Travel
  • Claire Steiner, director at the Global Travel & Tourism Partnership and founder of ITT Future You and Future You Foundation
  • Edward Lines, industry manager at Google
  • Emily Goldfischer, editor-in-chief of Hertelier
  • Gail Kenny, founder of Gail Kenny Executive Recruitment
  • Jamie-Lee Abtar, marketing manager at Intrepid Travel
  • Kate Irwin, managing director EMEA at Skift
  • Klaudija Janzelj, head of city experiences at TUI
  • Meera Dattani, freelance journalist and senior editor of
  • Shayna Zand, head of partnerships at wetravel
  • Dr Sumeetra Ramakrishnan, senior lecturer at University of Surrey

Reflecting Women in Travel CIC’s core pillars of Leadership, Talent and Recruitment, DEI and Allyship, the awards will recognise the progress, achievements and endeavours of both individuals and businesses in the travel and hospitality space, with categories as follows:

  • DEI Champions - individual and company
  • Woman Leader - Corporate Leader (company) and Woman Entrepreneur (individual)
  • Talent and Recruitment - Individual Diverse Talent Recruiter and Best DEI Talent and Recruitment Initiative (company)
  • Allyship - individual and company

Entry is simple and free, and winners will be announced at the IWTTF Awards taking place at the offices of Expedia in Angel, London on June 21.

The following day, IWTTF will welcome delegates to the Google offices in Kings Cross for a series of industry leading sessions and conversations covering a range of topics from neuro-diversity and how the climate crisis is impacting women to removing barriers to entrepreneurship through DEI.


Alessandra Alonso, founder and managing director of Women in Travel CIC and IWTTF said: “We are excited that our inaugural Awards are now open and that we are starting to see entries coming in.

“We have put together a judging panel of highly qualified individuals in the DEI and talent and recruitment space in our industry and together we look forward to recognising and celebrating the great work that is taking place.

“We appreciate that people and businesses are at different stages in their DEI journey and we are not looking for perfection, but we wanted to begin to shine a light on those that are making the effort so that we can learn from each other and work towards creating a more diverse, equal and inclusive travel industry for us all.”

More Information

Nominations for the IWTTF Awards close on May 21, and the shortlist will be announced week commencing June 12.

Information on how to enter the awards and how to attend IWTTF (21 and 22 June) is available here.