Castell Project Releases 2021 Report on Women Leaders in Hospitality

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ATLANTA — Officials of Castell Project, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the careers of women professionals in the hospitality industry, released the 2021 Women in Hospitality Industry Leadership report. Celebrating its fourth year, the report details women’s progress in leadership within the hospitality industry.

“While the rhetoric surrounding women and diversity in leadership escalated in 2020, the needle barely moved, exacerbated by COVID-related layoffs and furloughs,” said Peggy Berg, chair of Castell Project, Inc. “The effects of the pandemic on women and minorities were particularly noticeable.”

“Returning to the status quo should not be the goal,” Berg added. “The industry lost 479,000 employees (35 percent) over the past year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; this is a massive reset. We believe this offers companies a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build stronger organizations by benefiting from the full pool of diverse talent. According to the May 2020 McKinsey & Company Diversity Wins report, ‘there is a substantial performance differential – 48 percent – between the most and least gender-diverse companies.’ This is critical for the hospitality industry where leading companies also have the most robust diversity initiatives. As an industry that feels workforce pressure, we need to do better for women who want career advancement in addition to families and for men who want families as well as career advancement. The companies that perform best in the new post-pandemic market will be companies with diverse leadership.”

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Overall, the odds of a woman reaching the executive leadership level (CEO, partner/principal, president, and C-suite) were one woman to 5.9 men at the end of 2019. A year later, at the end of 2020, odds were 5.7 men per woman. The challenge for the industry is to fully develop a diverse talent pool so the best candidate for the company can emerge. The best candidate is sometimes, but not always, male.

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