Leadership Development Programmes

The Global Female Leader Programme (GFLP)

The WiHTL Global Female Leader Programme (GFLP) is a unique, comprehensive cross-industry programme designed to provide a series of experiences and learning opportunities to support career progression for high potential female leaders in the HTL industry.

Thank you to AlixPartners for being a supporting partner of the 3rd GFLP cohort January - June 2022.

The programme is open to WiHTL members to attend (member companies can nominate up to 2 female leaders per cohort). Non-members are also able to participate for a fee per participant.

"I am incredibly grateful to McDonald's and Hilton for supporting this groundbreaking programme and making it available to all our members. While progress is being made, representation at board level of ethnically diverse leaders is still far from reflecting the general population, and the pace of acceleration in our sector must be increased. The programme will include access to intimate conversations with existing C-suite Executives / Board members, major Executive Search Firms and Institutional Shareholders and Private Equity representatives - taking leaders on a journey of meaningful action, shared experience, personal and professional growth, and aiming to facilitate long lasting change."

Tea Colaianni, Founder & Chair, WiHTL & Diversity in Retail (DiR)

"The success of the Ethnic Future Leaders programme has shown first- hand how powerful programmes like these are to developing collective talent pipelines for the future of our industry. We recognise the immediate need to do more to tackle the representation gaps at the very top. McDonald’s are delighted to partner with Hilton in support of the ‘Ethnic Senior Leader - Get Board Ready’ Programme. I’m excited about the possibility to positively influence the progression of diverse leaders into Executive Board roles and have no doubt that the programme will inspire and equip diverse senior talent in reaching the highest levels of our organisations."

Gareth Pearson, Senior Vice President, Chief Operations Officer, UK and Ireland, McDonald's

Ethnic Senior Leaders - Get Board Ready Programme (ESL)

This programme is designed to support and prepare ethnic senior leaders for promotion to Executive Board level. Numbers are limited to 15 Participants per cohort. Member companies can nominate 1 Participant per cohort and places are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

It is aimed at ethnic leaders preparing to take on increasing levels of responsibility and greater challenges as they move into more senior leadership/management roles; Directors and senior level leaders in functional roles and high-potential, mid-career talent with established track records and significant managerial responsibility. Includes live online sessions, Peer Accountability Groups and two-way mentoring.


  • Discover leadership strategies to get where you want to go and develop self-awareness to succeed along the way

  • Have honest conversations about under-representation in the workplace and barriers to success

  • Learn how to navigate the corporate environment

  • Build a productive and meaningful network you can leverage throughout your career

If a Member company wishes to secure more spaces on the programme or discuss bespoke programmes for their organisation, please contact Laura at laura@wihtl.com.

Nominations are now closed and the programme is now in progress.

"Hilton has a diverse global workforce serving diverse guests and we are proud to be partnering with WiHTL for the inaugural Ethnic Senior Leader programme, which will ensure the development and progression of diverse talent to the most senior levels of our industry. This aligns with our company-wide diversity strategy and builds on our involvement with the Ethnic Minority Future Leader programme, providing a continued pathway for diverse talent to senior leadership roles."

Simon Vincent, Area President EMEA, Hilton

Ethnic Future Leaders Programme (EFL)

Produced in partnership with McDonald's, the Ethnic Future Leaders Programme (EFL) aims to improve ethnic diversity in leadership through identifying and investing in existing high potential ethnic minorities employees and supporting their progression into more senior roles across HTL and Retail. Cohort 2 has now started.

The EMFL Yearbook for Cohort 1 is now available and contains the inspirational stories of the participants, role models and executives who took part. Email gina@wihtl.com for your copy.

The Inclusive Leader Programme (ILP)

WiHTL launched the Inclusive Leader Programme in October 2020 in response to the growing demand for practical and tangible solutions from organisations wanting to develop their diversity and inclusion strategies. The Programme is the most comprehensive cross-industry programme ever put in place to support leaders across hospitality, travel and leisure to create, nourish and sustain diverse and inclusive environments. To date, over 2,000 leaders have joined the Programme and have been taken on a journey of discovery, awareness and a shift from talk to action.

Produced as quarterly mini-series throughout the year, some key themes addressed are: race at work, leading hybrid and remote teams, using data to drive inclusivity, attracting diverse talent, the employee lifecycle, how to have courageous conversations and how to encourage self-awareness. Past series include:

  • Challenging Questions for Challenging Times

  • How Can We Become An Anti-Racist Organisation?

  • What Can Leaders Do to Increase Their Focus on D&I During This Time? -

  • Leading Hybrid and Remote Teams in a Post-COVID 19 World

  • Data to Drive Inclusivity – Be Brave to ‘Lift the Lid’

  • The Inclusive Leader Scorecard – Unlocking the Power of Diversity in Your Organisation

  • Courageous Conversations

  • How to Support Working Families in the New Normal

  • Holding Up the Mirror & Enhancing Self-Awareness

The programme is open to WiHTL members to attend

To join WiHTL as a member, please enquire here