The index highlights talented women who have achieved personal and professional success through leadership, innovation and determination.
It also highlights individuals who strive to foster a culture of inclusion and belonging across their organisation, sector or their community.
Whittingham started her career with JDW in 1992 as a shift manager at one of the company’s pubs in north London.
Since then she has managed Wetherspoon pubs, progressed to area manager and, in 2013, became a regional manager with responsibility for four area managers and 56 pubs across England.
In 2021, Whittingham was made an employee director sitting on the JDW board.
She said: “I am immensely proud to work for Wetherspoon. I work with incredible people every day. Our pub staff are amazing, full of fantastic people. I am delighted to be named in the 2022 Women to Watch & Role Models for Inclusion Index.
“Diversity, equality and inclusion are extremely important to me personally and also makes good business sense. It results in a happier, more engaged workforce, which, in turn, leads to a better experience in our pubs for customers.
“It also helps drive creativity and innovation and undoubtedly leads to better decision making by utilising a wider range of skills, ideas and experience.”
JDW chief executive John Hutson added: “Debbie is an outstanding leader within Wetherspoon and thoroughly deserves this recognition.
“She is an integral part of the company’s success.”
Women to Watch & Role Models for Inclusion in Hospitality, Travel & Leisure (HTL) Index 2022, is produced by WiHTL (Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure, now Diversity in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure) in partnership with the MBS Group.
Last month, JDW removed eggs from its breakfast menu when a shortage hit the UK.
The business swapped the ingredient with hash browns, onion rings and sausages for its customers.