Accommodation Association centres workplace culture as new council members elected

Accommodation Association centres workplace culture as new council members elected

The Accommodation Association of Australia announced it is embracing principles of equity, diversity, and respect as it introduced two new council members.

The Association has endorsed a number of positions over the past six months to create a workplace culture that practices inclusivity.

A commitment to greater inclusion of women at the council level and a new Panel Pledge will be implemented to normalise women in all positions around the Association and increase the visibility and contribution of women.

Accommodation Association president Leanne Harwood highlighted the announcement as a progressive move for the group.

“We’re starting with a focus on gender diversity to ensure that the face of our sector is more representative of those working in it and the wider community,” she said.

“We need to support greater diversity across the board and embrace the tangible steps that mean diversity is truly embraced and reflected including gender diversity, accessibility, ethnic and cultural diversity and multi-generational diversity.”

The Panel Pledge means that the Association will organise forums that include gender diverse speakers and panel members, be active in supporting the voices of women, and reserve the right to withdraw from events if gender balance and diversity is not achieved.

The Association Council also endorsed the principles of the Safety Respect Equity Alliance and the Safety.Respect.Equity campaign including the call for all 55 recommendations of the Respect@Work report from sex discrimination commissioner Kate Jenkins to be implemented.

This includes supporting the introduction of a positive duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment.

The Respect@Work report recommended that the Sex Discrimination Act be amended to require all employers “to take reasonable and proportionate measures to eliminate sex discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation, as far as possible.”

Alongside this new commitment, the Association welcomed it’s new members Sarah Derry and Paul Hutton joining as member representatives of Accor and the Hilton group respectively.

Sarah Derry is the CEO of Accor Pacific and has almost 30 years of hospitality experience, working for international hotel companies.

Paul Hutton is the head of Australasia for the Hilton Group. He is a 37-year hospitality industry veteran who has recently returned to Australia, having spent the past four years as Hilton’s regional head of Southeast Asia.

“We are pleased to welcome Sarah Derry and Paul Hutton to the Council as we move into this important period of recovery and rebuilding for our sector and work continues towards the proposed amalgamation with Tourism Accommodation Australia,” Harwood said.

“The Council is united in our purpose of delivering for members through strengthening our sector including as we recover from the challenges of COVID, growing the demand drivers for business and helping our members meet the immediate challenges presented by the labour and skills crisis.

“Now more than ever we need to be smart in our advocacy, strategic in our effort and united in our focus,” Harwood concluded.

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