AHLA Foundation releases board diversity report

The American Hotel & Lodging Foundation (AHLAF) has released the 2022 “Diversity of Hospitality Industry Public Boards” research report. Aiming to create an industry “as diverse as the guests we serve,” this research aligns with AHLA’s five-year, $5-million commitment to advance DE&I across the hospitality arena.

The research findings represent data about hospitality industry public company boards after reviewing 30 companies and 262 board members, as well as 10-k filings on corporate brands of public hospitality companies based in the U.S. Using a data range of six years to track progress, some of the key findings include:

  • Hospitality public company boards comprised 22.5% women in 2021. The Russell 3000 averaged 25.6% female board members in 2021 and will reach 27% this year.
  • 7.6% of hospitality public company board members in 2021 were African-American, up from 6.3% in 2020 and equivalent to pre-pandemic 2019 levels.
  • There are three Black board chairs, one of whom is female. Only two boards had no female representation.

Research was conducted by the Castell Project, an organization dedicated to advancing female leaders in hospitality.

“This research is crucial as part of the AHLA Foundation’s commitment to advancing diversity in hospitality,” said Sarah Cozewith, AHLAF VP of workforce development. “As part of our merger, we are proud to welcome BUILD and ELEVATE into the AHLAF family. These programs are two shining examples that allow mid-level and senior-level female hoteliers to craft their skills and move into higher level hotel positions.”

Peggy Berg, founder, Castell Project, said, “While there is still work to do, we are proud to see the industry making DE&I a priority and look forward to tracking continued progress in 2023 and beyond. As we aim to advance female leaders in the hospitality industry, we continue to move in the right direction and are committed to hitting our goals.”