UKHospitality is launching an industry-wide mentoring initiative to help female managers working in hospitality and leisure break through into senior executive and board level roles.

A partnership with executive search firm Odgers Berndtson, Elliott’s and BT Sport, the goal is to provide women who want to be considered for senior management roles with high quality mentoring, advice and motivation.

The scheme is particularly aimed at those who work in small companies where formal support may not be available.

Odgers Berndston launched its Charter for Change earlier in the year, having heard from many female candidates across the industry that mentoring had a strong role to play.

The hope is now that potential mentors will come forward – initially making themselves known to participating partners – and that all taking part will help to refer individual women who might benefit from the additional support.

An industry study earlier this year, conducted by UK Hospitality and industry research group CGA found 82% agreed there should be more women on leadership teams in the sector.

A further 65% believed it was important to have a mentoring scheme in place - yet 48% had no plans to implement one and 71% thought a sector-wide initiative would help.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality “The vision behind this is to give talented women the empowerment and support they need to achieve leadership roles.

“We also want to build a network of senior mentors from across the hospitality industry to support the next generation of inclusive leaders.

Holly Addison, head of hospitality and leisure at Odgers Berndtson and a member of the steering committee launching the new initiative, said: “We want more women to believe in themselves and their ability to contribute, at the most senior levels, to the success of their organisations.