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YHA Chief Executive of YHA named as top influential woman
    18/07/2013 08:10

Chief Executive of YHA named as top influential woman

YHA (England and Wales) is celebrating after their Chief Executive was recently named as one of the top 100 influential women in the hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism industries.

Caroline White was announced as one of 23 female business leaders inducted into the Women 1st Top 100 Club at the recent 2013 Shine Awards. Members of the exclusive club have reached the pinnacle of their careers, acting as positive role models, providing motivation and guidance for the next generation of leaders.

Fellow members of the club include cook, author and TV presenter Delia Smith OBE, hotelier and presenter of the TV series The Hotel Inspector Alex Polizzi and Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Angela Hartnett MBE.

Caroline joined YHA in 2008 and leads a 1000-strong team based across 160 Youth Hostels and the head office in Matlock, Derbyshire.

Women 1st, which was founded by sector skills council People 1st to support women in achieving their career aspirations, credits Caroline with changing the public image of the historic brand. In 2012, YHA (England and Wales) was ranked at number four in the best Hotel category, just behind the luxury hotel chains, Sofitel, Hotel Du Vin & Bistro and Malmaison, in the Guardian, Observer and guardian.co.uk Readers' Travel Awards 2012.

Simone Roche, Director of Women 1st, explained: “The Women 1st executive team was particularly impressed with the way Caroline has refocused funds within the Youth Hostels Association to create modernised hostels that create a great image of the UK as a tourist destination for domestic and international tourists alike. Initiatives like YHA Day show that she is clearly committed to educating local communities about hostelling, which is often overlooked as part of the tourism landscape. Caroline has also been incredibly supportive of the diversity agenda, which makes her a great role model for future leaders. This is what the Top 100 Club is all about – creating visible role models for the female leaders of tomorrow, and we feel that Caroline is a worthy entrant.”

Chris Darmon, Chairman of YHA (England and Wales), said: “We are all absolutely delighted at the recognition of Caroline and her contribution to the hospitality industry. She has been instrumental in changing people’s outdated perceptions of YHA, as well as raising awareness of our mission to give young people fun and amazing learning experiences.”

“The calilbre of our winners and the new inductees into the Top 100 Club suggests the future success of the industry is in safe hands. We hope they will encourage and motivate both women and men to pursue their career aspirations within our industry with tenacity and enthusiasm,” added Simone Roche.

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