Institute of Hospitality bid to change the future to include a more diverse workforce

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Future Forum: Addressing disability, diversity, and inclusion issues in the hospitality industry.
Future Forum: Addressing disability, diversity, and inclusion issues in the hospitality industry.

Related tags Hospitality Training Social responsibility Pubs

The Institute of Hospitality (IoH) has announced the establishment of its first forum to address disability, diversity, and inclusion issues across the hospitality industry.

Chaired by Champneys Health Resorts assistant front of house manager Kelly-Marie Staunton MIH, the ‘Future Forum’ aims to develop strategies to promote and nurture education around inclusion across the IoH as well as the wider hospitality industry.

The ‘Forum’ believes there is an urgent need for employers to recognise all types of disability, including invisible ones, and have started work to gather information from IoH members across the industry with a need to provide a Disability and Diversity Check List​ for employers already agreed upon.

Diverse workforce

Staunton said: “I am delighted to be chairing such an important group for the IoH and working alongside such talent.

“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 perceived to fall into the ‘too difficult category’.”

‘Future Forum’ will consist of a line-up of 10 hospitality professionals including Founder of Blue Badge Style and Blue Badge Access Awards Fiona Jarvis, senior lecturer in hospitality management at the University of Greenwich Dr Maria Gebbels MIH, freelance writer and editor Elizabeth Mistry, FIH and IoH Supervisory Board Member Paul Gilley and senior operations manager for Bartlett and Mitchell Gregory Hall MIH.

The Forum's key focus is to support UN Sustainable Development goals 5 (Gender equality) 8 (Decent Work & Economic growth) and 10 (reduced Inequalities) and 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.

Change for the future 

IoH CEO Robert Richardson FIH said: “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 eradicate 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.”

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