In honour of International Women’s Day, Preferred Hotels & Resorts is sharing insight from its female leaders regarding how to cultivate more diversity in the infamously male-dominated hospitality industry in a post-Covid world.
Over the past 12 months Preferred approached the conversation surrounding diversity and gender equality head on, through dialogue with a diverse, global group of associates.
The brand launched a dedicated task force to address concerns regarding the ubiquitous cultural upheavals, which included gender disparity, occurring in nearly every region, and through this conversation, learned a valuable lesson: diversity is key in seeing what others may miss.
“On International Women’s Day – and in fact, as we look ahead to every day in the future – it is especially important to recognise the efforts, successes, and tips from women on our team who hold vital leadership roles and whose example inspires more hospitality companies around the globe to work toward increased diversity at the executive level,” said CEO Lindsey Ueberroth.
Women from Preferred’s executive team share their personal insight into achieving a more equitable future in a post Covid-19 world. Advice for women beginning their careers in the hospitality industry, and how to support other women on their path to success.
Who do you consider to be your biggest female role model and what impact have they had on your life and career?
Brenda Collin, Senior Vice President of Europe: “The person who has made the biggest impact on my life is my mother, whose words of wisdom stick with me through the good days and bad.
“I remember one day in 1987, when I had an important interview for my top choice university. With only 30 spots available for this opportunity, I was up against 500 other candidates.
“My father wanted me to confirm another offer that had to be accepted that same day.
“My mother, however, advised me to do what I thought was the right decision for me. “If you want it, fight for it.” I remember that interview word for word, and yes I fought for it! I wasn’t going to let my ambition of working in hospitality be taken from me.”
How can we achieve an equal future in a post Covid-19 world?
Kimberly Wilson, Senior Vice President, Global Sales – Corporate: “A crisis situation can teach many life lessons in addition to opening new doors of opportunity.
“To close the gap on inequality for a more equal future, we need to assess the talent pool of women and diverse candidates, which will widen the path for others to be considered and hired for positions that were once exclusively dominated by male counterparts.
“It is vital to be cognisant of any limitations or unconscious bias and willing to have an open environment of inclusivity.”
What are some realities that need to be addressed looking ahead to help more women succeed in business through every life stage?
Kristie Goshow, Chief Marketing Officer: “There are a few realities that we cannot change that drive a unique set of needs for women specifically (although not exclusively), and these are pregnancy and menopause. I can relate to the challenges associated with both and use my experience to support others.
“Many leaders and organisations have evolved their thinking and support frameworks for women during and post childbirth, but few are tackling the individual challenges associated with menopause – which is – as a reminder, a rite of passage that half of the population will inevitably travel through. This is clearly a topic that warrants far deeper discussion and needs to be welcomed.”
What is your leadership style, and how do you inspire and support women in your company and on your team?
Caroline Klein, Chief Communications Officer: “As a leader, my first step is to establish trust with each member of my team, find ways to relate with them on a personal level, and provide clarity around expectations. This creates a strong foundation built on openness and mutual understanding.
“From there, my leadership style is to be incredibly inclusive, lead by example, communicate openly and candidly, empower by granting autonomy, and, most importantly, champion the success of every win.
“It’s important to create environments where hierarchy does not exist to create truly open, honest, and unencumbered dialogue.”
News from the hospitality and catering industry is also being featured extensively in our Facebook and twitter social media accounts with the opportunity to engage with others in hospitality and share your views.
Hospitality & Catering News: Insight from female leaders on International Women’s Day. – 8 March 2021 – Insight from female leaders on International Women’s Day.
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