Institute of Hospitality wins ‘Diversity & Inclusion Initiative of the Year’ honour at CGIUKI 2021 Awards

London, 18 November 2021 – The Institute of Hospitality (IoH) saw two recent Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) initiatives recognised when BBC Breakfast presenter and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Dan Walker handed the IoH the award for ‘Diversity & Inclusion Initiative of the Year’ at The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland’s 2021 Awards at the London Park Lane Hilton Hotel last night. The Awards recognise those individuals, teams, projects and initiatives that demonstrate exemplary governance and help organisations to better serve their stakeholders and society in the process.

The Institute of Hospitality pipped the Girls Friendly Society and Notting Hill Genesis to the post to be crowned the winner, with the judges considering that the IoH’s Diversity Shield and Youth Council initiatives demonstrated that the organisation was on a journey in its response to D&I. The IoH is operating in a sector that has been particularly impacted by the pandemic, and they recognised the opportunity that represented to review and reset the sector’s approach to people, to futureproof and promote diversity. It was a holistic approach to D&I, and one that underscored the link with youth employment, mentoring and shaping the leaders of the future.

The Institute of Hospitality’s Diversity Shield seeks to educate and inspire IoH members and the wider hospitality industry to adopt the attitudes and actions that will promote hospitality as open, welcoming, caring and inclusive – an industry that listens and is, in short, a great place to work.

It’s Youth Council is comprised of young Associate members, students and young professionals at the beginning of their careers who act as ambassadors for the IoH, communicating what it does to a new generation. They will also be empowered to provide the insight, advice and recommendations to assist the IoH’s Chief Executive and Supervisory Board on the way forward.

Sara Drake, chief executive of the Institute says:

“In recent years, it has become increasingly apparent that having an effective plan for diversity and inclusion in the workplace is not just a ‘nice to have’, it is essential. For many organisations really moving the dial on diversity is a significant piece of work and this award recognises those initiatives that go beyond ‘business as usual’ to genuinely boost D&I around an organisation. The judges were looking for initiatives designed to achieve a set of clearly articulated goals, underpinned by appropriate measures of success, that demonstrate real benefit to an organisation, its employees, customers and other stakeholders. The IoH’s Diversity Shield and Youth Council initiatives have not only reshaped and re-energised an 83-year-old organisation's approach to D&I against a backdrop of economic recovery, but also seek to inspire the wider hospitality industry, making the Institute of Hospitality a very worthy winner of this award.”

The full list of 2021 Awards winners can be found at 

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