12 Jan Women in Hospitality Discuss a Male-dominated Industry
Amid the #MeToo movement and an overall dearth of women in upper-echelon hospitality industry jobs, a bright bunch who currently are leaders participated in Hotel Management’s inaugural Women in Hospitality Roundtable, held at the Renaissance Times Square at the tail end of 2017. Participants discussed many of the myriad issues that women face in a business landscape still dominated by men.
Andrea Foster, SVP of development at Marcus Hotels & Resorts, pointed out that her company has two female members on their board and while that is something to celebrate, it’s hardly an ideal scenario. “When we show up [at conferences] we have two representatives, typically, and it’s a male and a female,” Foster said. “But other companies aren’t necessarily sending as many women, or maybe they don’t have that balance.”
Foster was quick to name her mentors—both men—as positive figures who helped elevate her career in the industry. She called on more men to provide advocacy for female employees, and she also said women should be seeking out these opportunities whenever possible.
“The mentoring concept is one that is crucial,” said Cindy Estis Green, CEO and co-founder of Kalibri Labs. “Whether your mentor is a male or a female, it really is what helps you move up. I was fortunate early in my career and had male mentors who really put me out there and let me do things that otherwise wouldn’t have happened, and accelerated my career tremendously.”