In leadership roles, women are bringing about positive changes in the hospitality landscape - encouraging more inclusive and diverse working culture, attracting more women talent, understanding the sensitivities when working with women, bringing about a work life balance.
By Amy Deng
Women and their professional careers have been extensively discussed all across the globe. Fortunately, the intention of these discussions is to identify the current gender gap across levels and how everyone at an organization can come together to reduce the gap. For starters, it is important to accept that there has been a positive change and organizations now value a woman’s presence in leadership. Women in leadership have showcased that their influence has led to greater motivation and better results along with promoting work-family balance. As per a survey by The Peterson Institute for International Economics of 21,980 firms from 91 countries having women at the C-Suite level significantly increases net margins. Grant Thornton’s report on Women in Business revealed that globally, the percentage of businesses with at least one woman in senior management has seen a significant rise from 66% to 75%.
One such industry that was previously male dominated and now sees a good mix of both genders is Hospitality thanks to efforts undertaken by organizations. According to figures from the World Travel and Tourism Council, by the year 2019 there would be 275 million jobs in the hospitality sector and it is predicted that it may be predominantly populated by women. In leadership roles, women are bringing about positive changes in the hospitality landscape – encouraging more inclusive and diverse working culture, attracting more women talent, understanding the sensitivities when working with women, bringing about a work life balance. With a naturally high emotional intelligence, women anticipate guests’ needs better which is extremely important in the field of customer service and experience. They bring together different teams and manage varied personalities within the teams with their maternal instincts and encourage them to work towards a common goal while supporting each other.
There are also several challenges that women in the hospitality industry face. The business requires them to be working 24 * 7 and 365 days a year. That requires a lot of dedication and at times compromising on your family time. The industry and women leaders specifically have helped bring about a change by being more supportive. There are flexible working hours and shifts that help a woman in the hospitality industry create a name for herself and be independent. Moreover, women leaders at times face issues when male colleagues show reluctance in understanding directions and suggestions. But years of experience of several women leaders in this industry showcases that if you have the passion, desire, and spirit to lead, don’t take no for an answer and gradually you will see change in perception.
When you are working with people for people, it is important to be straight forward and deal with whatever come your way. Work smart and hard is what will take you a long way not just in the hospitality industry but in any career that a woman chooses to pursue.
The author is VP Business Development, OYO China. the views expressed are author’s own.