Hotel Industry Finance Roles Lack Female Representation

The U.S. hotel industry is inching along in opening paths for women to reach senior executive and C-suite roles, but data shows that women still aren’t widely seen in roles within finance and operations.

6 March 2019

HotelNewsNow.com (HNN)

REPORT FROM THE U.S.—Women are roughly one-fifth as likely as men to get C-suite positions and roughly one-third as likely to rise to the EVP or SVP levels at hotel companies, and Castell Project Director Peggy Berg said this is evidence the industry needs to do a better job tackling its biases head on.

Berg, who conducted the 2019 "Women in hospitality industry leadership" report, said there seems to be a disconnect "between what is happening with women moving into leadership and what makes sense."The most important thing "is to recognize that unconscious biases exist," said Berg, who is also founder of the Highland Group. "We all have them, don't care who you are; we've all got them. The second thing is to notice when they're kicking in and for company leaders to challenge the people who work with them to identify it when they see bias."

What makes sense is that people who are really good at working with money, finances and numbers should be moving up into leadership positions, she said. But what she's finding is that women are perceived as not being good at finances and numbers in business, but skilled in other aspects of their lives such as balancing household incomes.

Julienne Smith, SVP of development and owner relations at Hyatt Hotels Corporation, said she finds Castell's data striking.

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