Eighteen organizations committed to advancing women in hospitality industry leadership have joined forces to maximize their efforts through collaboration and partnership. While each of these independent organizations will continue its work individually to advance women’s initiatives in the industry, together they have formed the Women in Hospitality Leadership Alliance, which will amplify all their programs, messaging and initiatives advancing women in leadership.
Founded by hotel industry veteran Rachel Humphrey, the concept behind the Alliance is that by working together the groups will achieve more to advance women into executive leadership roles, which according to research by Castell, an AHLA Foundation Project, is still one woman for every 10 men, despite women making up more than 57% of industry workers.
“There are so many organizations and leaders committed to this important initiative,” said Humphrey. “By collaborating, we’re able to advance all these efforts which will move the needle farther and faster for our industry, At a time when human resources and financial resources are at a premium, it is great to see these groups getting together and sharing with one another in an effort to maximize the impact of each and collectively of all.”
Participating organizations include:
- African Association of Women in Tourism and Hospitality: Amaka Amatokwu-Ndekwu, Daphne Spencer
- ForWard: Women Advancing Hospitality (American Hotel & Lodging Association): Katie Moore
- AAHOA: Heather Carnes
- Boutique Lifestyle Leaders Association (BLLA)/Travel Industry Executive Women’s Network (TIEWN): Fran Kiradjian, Ariela Kiradjian
- Castell, an AHLA Foundation Project: Peggy Berg, Fern Kanter, Lan Elliott, Deb Cox
- DEI Advisors: David Kong, Humphrey, Elliott
- FAB Workshop: Randi Weinstein
- Forum on Leadership for Women by Red Roof: Marina MacDonald
- WINiT by GBTA (Global Business Travel Association): Dorothy Dowling
- Hertelier: Emily Goldfischer
- Howard University School of Business Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership: Ashli Johnson
- International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC)/Questex Diversity Council: Andrea Belfanti
- Inspiring Women in Hospitality: Naureen Ahmed
- Latino Hotel Association (LHA): Lynette Montoya
- Raizup: Rita Varga
- She Has a Deal (SHaD), including Fortuna’s Table: Tracy Prigmore, Viviana Wilkins
- Women Leading Travel & Hospitality: Hannah DeMaio
- Women in Travel Thrive: Silvia Camarota, Humphrey
- Women Own the Room by Wyndham: Lisa Checchio
In addition to these organizations, several individuals are also contributing their expertise and guidance, including Andrea Foster of Marcus Hotels & Resorts and Talene Staab of Hilton Hotels & Resorts.
“These remarkable women and men are having an incredible impact with strong initiatives that are rapidly advancing women in leadership and by working together we are sure the impact will be even greater,” said Berg, founder, Castell, an AHLA Foundation Project and founding member of the alliance.
The alliance began conversations in November 2021, met in person at ALIS in January of this year and has connected regularly since then. The organizations share their goals, upcoming efforts, educational resources, event information and one another’s messaging to amplify the overall and collective mission of advancing women in hospitality.
“I look forward to seeing the tremendous impact these organizations, already successful in so many ways, will continue to have on advancing women in leadership in our industry as the result of their collaboration,” said Humphrey.
For more on women leaders in the hotel industry, look for our cover story in the August issue of Hotel Business.