Report: Women In Hospitality Leadership

AETHOS Consulting Group recently published a report showing that while more women are represented in hospitality leadership roles, there is still more work to be done to achieve gender diversity in the boardroom. AETHOS research indicates that more hiring managers and nomination committees are open to giving female candidates an equal opportunity in search of the right person for the job. In the report, AETHOS London Managing Director Chris Mumford reviewed leading hotel companies including Accor and Carlson Rezidor and found a similar ratio of men to women in the executive suite compared to the boardroom, with 22 percent of female representation. Other noteworthy findings include:

  • An analysis of women’s presence on executive management teams reveals that InterContinental Hotels Group is highest with a 40 percent female representation;
  • Approximately 24 percent of all board seats at publicly listed hotel companies are occupied by women directors;
  • The number of CEOs who are female among the 50 largest hotel companies has grown to five CEOs in 2017, compared to one CEO in 2007. Companies led by female CEOs include APA Hospitality, China Lodging Group, Iberostar, Riu, Tokyo Inn, and Whitbread.

“Gaining a seat at the board table is only part of the equation,” adds London-based AETHOS Managing Director Thomas Mielke. “Diversity is as much about inclusion as it is about equal and fair treatment. Whilst transparency around policies that aim to ensure a more balance board has improved, the gender pay gap remains significant. Although there appears to be some year-on-year progress, as underpinned by the regional statistics of the Equal Pay Day movement, it is a fact that female executives still earn below the benchmark set by their male counterparts.”

And as AETHOS executive Juliette Boone states, “While it’s important to focus on ‘getting the right person in place for the job,’ it’s also important to consider how and by whom the selection criteria for the ‘right person’ is established. So much more still needs to be done to re-engineer the workplace. As our 2013 research study, “Rethinking a Glass Ceiling in the Hospitality Industry” concluded, for women to continue to excel in moving forward and upward within organizations, they need support not only developing leadership and professional skills, but they also require proactive engagement in strong mentorship and personal development programs.”

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