Women Hospitality representation rising

Officials of Castell Project, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the careers of women professionals in the hospitality industry, released the 2022 Women in Hospitality Industry Leadership report at this year’s ALIS Conference at the JW Marriott Los Angeles. Now in its fifth year, the report details women’s progress in leadership positions within the hospitality industry.

“As the hospitality industry rebuilds the jobs it has lost since the start of the pandemic, developing career opportunities for women and minorities is even more vital in the hotel sector,” said Peggy Berg, chair, Castell Project, Inc. “This report tracks progress, and we are seeing more women in senior executive roles successfully advancing every aspect of their companies. There are more women on the podium, building their own careers and inspiring others. There are more women owners, including women of color. Recognition of the value and importance of diverse leadership is now widespread, so we expect these trends to accelerate.”

She added, “We are also seeing new challenges. Enrollment at college and university hospitality programs is declining among men as well as women. Hospitality advanced education is the industry’s talent pipeline. Our [email protected] initiative inspires students by showing them desirable futures through the hospitality industry. However, broader work to upgrade the industry’s reputation as an employer and career option is critical for women and the industry.”

Highlights from the report include:

Women are gaining representation in hotel company leadership roles (CEO, president, founder, etc.). Although still skewed in favor of men, women now hold one leadership spot for every 10.3 men, an improvement from one to 11.2 in 2019.

At the manager/director levels, women now hold one in three hospitality brokerage positions and one in six at the VP/SVP/EVP level. The number of male VP/SVP/EVPs at hotel investment conferences did not change materially, while the number of women doubled. Broker representation went from one woman to 10.1 men in 2017 to one woman to 7.2 men in 2021. Hospitality brokerage competes with general commercial real estate for talent. CREW Network reports that more women occupy brokerage positions than ever before (29%), a 6% increase from 2015.

Women speak at 22% of hospitality investment conference podiums, up from 16% in 2017. This is important because women’s visibility on the podium accelerates careers and inspires other women.

This research is supported by the AHLA Foundation (AHLAF). To download a copy of the report, go to www.CastellProject.org.