A new report has revealed that more than 300,000 female workers leave the hospitality industry every year at the cost of almost £3bn to businesses. The study by People 1st, the hospitality skills council, also claimed that company’s business performance increases when women form part of the senior management team. According to findings in the new report “Women 1st – the case for change: Women working in hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism” the sector loses £2.8bn per year in replacement recruitment and initial training directly as a result of 310,000 women leaving the industry. This compares to 224,500 men who leave the industry every year. Although the sector continues to grow – with an additional 290,000 managers expected to be recruited over the next seven years – the percentage of female workers has been declining over the past six years, from 61% in 2004/5 to 56 per cent in 2010. Out of those, only 18% are employed in management or senior positions, compared to 25% of men. Speaking at the launch of the Women 1st Top 100 Most Influential Women and Shine Awards nominations, Martin-Christian Kent, People 1st’s director of policy and research, said: “Employers in the industry are losing a valuable resource when talented women are unable to achieve their career ambitions. “If we are able to develop and retain more women in the industry, it would help ensure that we have the number of skilled managers we need for the future.”