Much more needs to be done to nurture the boardroom ambitions of female senior managers in hospitality, according to HVS Executive Search.
The global executive search firm's recent European Hotel Board study found that just 10% of board members were women.
"While the industry must shy away from tokenism, it's important that more women are encouraged to nurture boardroom ambitions and have the opportunity to gain the relevant experience to enable them to realise those ambitions," commented Chris Mumford, HVS president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, following International Women's Day last week.
"We want to see women occupy at least a third of boardroom positions in this sector - and considering the industry has a strong percentage of female employees at lower levels, it's vital that their skills, knowledge and experience aren't lost when it comes to moving into top-level management."
Last year HVS held a briefing in London on the issue of encouraging more women into senior roles in the industry.
A panel of high-profile speakers including Deborah Dhugga, general manager of Dukes Hotel in London, Alison Frith, managing director of Artizian catering, and Jillian MacLean, managing director of Drake & Morgan, highlighted the issues women faced while attempting to achieve boardroom success, but also suggested that women needed to take a lead from their male counterparts by drawing more attention to their successes.
The briefing, which can be viewed on the video below, will be followed up later this year with a further roundtable discussion, which will form the basis of an HVS white paper.
It will contain recommendations on how the hospitality industry can improve its level of female representation at board level.
By Janie Manzoori-Stamford
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