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Women in Travel in CIC Works with Crisis to Launch Back to Work Scheme


Women in Travel CIC, the social enterprise founded by travel industry professional Alessandra Alonso, announces the launch of ‘Women Returners’ a commercial initiative helping unemployed women into travel & tourism jobs.

Working with homelessness charity Crisis, Women in Travel will support and train women who have been out of work but see the Travel & Tourism industry as an exciting career option. Companies partnering on the initiative include MTR Crossrail, Diamondair and hospitality partners Georgian House Hotel, UnderTheDoormat and digital marketers Digital Dialog.

Those enrolled on the ‘Women Returners’ will be given a one week training course where employers can meet and interview the women with the view to providing either full time jobs or a short term, paid internships at the end of the programme. The first ‘Women Returners’ programme begins on 29th January 2018 and will offer women employment opportunities with the industry partners.

Founder of Women in Travel, Alessandra Alonso said:

“This is a first for the industry and I am very excited about the opportunities that the sector can offer to these women who want to be economically active but have been prevented by sometimes challenging, personal circumstances. I am also excited about what the women have to offer to the industry. They are motivated, often very experienced and keen to demonstrate their commitment to available employers. It is a win-win”

Paul Siniecki, Strategic Labour Needs & Training Manager at MTR Crossrail adds:

‘At MTR Crossrail we recognise the importance of engaging a diverse workforce, reflective of the communities we serve. We offer high quality and sustainable job opportunities with a particular focus on attracting workless candidates. Supporting ‘Women Returners’ is a fantastic opportunity for MTR Crossrail achieve this by engaging with and supporting women in London back into employment.’

‘For us is a no-brainer’ says Christina Lawford, CEO of DiamondAir ‘The company is growing and with Brexit limiting the volume of foreign talent available to us we must now tap into a more diverse pool. Alessandra’s programme comes just at the right time and we are sure it will more than pay for itself.’

“As a fast-growing start-up, at UnderTheDoormat, we are continuously looking for new additions to our team” explains Merilee Karr, Founder and CEO of UnderTheDoormat. “We are excited to work with Alessandra on her programme as it’s a great way to support talented women and help them shape a better future. With hospitality in our DNA it is a great opportunity to welcome new women into our industry.”

Serena von der Heyde, Partner, Georgian House Hotel said:

‘Women Returners is a fantastic initiative – it helps women get back into employment and gives us a recruitment resource we value highly – a clear win win!’

Digital Dialog Co-founder Dipali Kastia, said “This is a great initiative that Digital Dialog is proud to support. As a niche marketing agency within the tourism and travel sector, recruitment has always been a challenge. The WRS programme has the potential to give us access to not only untapped talent but also freshly motivated candidates which is a key ingredient for building a great team.”

Companies who wish to join are asked to pay a modest membership fee that goes towards the set up and training of women. In exchange companies enjoy a substantial number of benefits, including being able to display the Women Returners Logo and getting free mentoring training for employees.

Competitive recruitment fees will eventually be paid when the women are fully employed.

‘So much female talent is going to waste under the radar, on the one hand’ adds Alessandra. ‘On the other, the Travel & Tourism industry continues to grow and needs all the talent it can get. The programme aims to put the two together so that mutual benefits can be enjoyed’.

To find out or join the programme please contact Alessandra on 07801269374 or email

As a social enterprise, Women in Travel is a limited company that reinvests its profit in a big social aim: to provide communities in key travel and tourism destinations (such as the UK, Middle East, Africa and Latin America) with a sustainable livelihood by enabling women to become economically independent through entrepreneurship and a thriving career in this industry.

For more information, please visit or join Women in Travel’s LinkedIn group or watch this video with Alessandra Alonso and Natalia Cohen discussing how women can be bold for change.


Over the past 3 years, Rachel has been working specifically within the digital marketing space and has worked with some of the country’s top brands. Drawing on her knowledge and experience, Rachel has developed a genuine understanding of how content can engage and compel an audience.

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