30 Influential Women in Hospitality

Kay Lang

Kay Lang + Associates

Choosing 30 trailblazing women in hospitality is no easy task—and that is a good thing, we say. The hospitality industry, not unlike other industries, historically has had a scarcity of influential women among its ranks—those who are turned to for leadership, for direction, for prudent input. Fortunately, this is changing, with many more women in the types of positions that they always deserved but were not awarded due to a sometimes intransigent corporate mentality. Now, women make up a greater proportion of executive-level roles, which is why it is so difficult to only choose 30 women for our list. However, we feel that these select women are blazing a path not only in hospitality, but in business. Scroll through our list below and read about who they are and what they have done and are doing to push the hospitality industry forward now that the glass ceiling has been cracked.

Kay Lang has been designing hotels for more than 30 years. As principal in charge of the Kay Lang + Associates design firm, she has overseen the creation of independent properties in Southern California, like Paséa Resort & Spa in Huntington Beach and Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara. When creating a hotel, Lang provides hand sketches during the conceptual and schematic design phases and selects and supervises the color palette through the architectural interior design development and construction documentation. “My leadership style is to inspire, be a generous listener and empower my design group to maximize their unique talents,” she said. “I enjoy people, I enjoy what I do, and I tend to smile a lot. I start off each day with a positive attitude and work to create an inclusive environment filled with enthusiasm, creativity and innovation.” Lang credits her creativity to her drive. “I never imagine anything other than a successful outcome at the start of each project or initiative,” she said. “If the outcome is not as positive as I expected, then I closely examine what I could have done differently. I continually look for opportunities to improve my effectiveness.” Lang measures her influence by the recognition of creativity and connectivity to the community in which the projects are located. “I believe that having an unwavering commitment ‘to think design differently’ and design places or things that impact design beyond just the initial aesthetics is essential,” she said.