Women in the hospitality sector face seven significant barriers to success, according to a new study sponsored by UKHospitality called How To Unlock Potential And Create A Talented Pipeline Of Senior Women Leaders written by Jackie Moody-McNamara, of Brilliant Women, and John Higgins, research fellow at consultancy GameShift. These include a “boys’ club mentality”, the prevalence of stereotypes and a lack of meaningful action from employers, the report states.
The research also outlines seven critical areas in need of support to boost the number of women in senior positions including tackling unintended bias, an emphasis on coaching and mentorship schemes, and promotion of “softer” leadership skills.
The study also highlights a lack of female leadership in the UK’s third-largest sector, lack of diversity in many workplaces, a relative shortage of women holding senior positions, and a limited number of women feeding the promotional pipeline.
Moody-McNamara said, “We need sector bodies and key influencers to recognise accelerated improvements are required so everyone can benefit – companies, employees, investors and customers. Our people want us to ensure hospitality is fair and equitable for everyone and they’re ready to step up and grab it.”
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls added, “Despite some good work, there are clearly barriers to progression in the sector. We need to acknowledge there’s an issue here and we need to act on it now. This report is a fantastic resource for ensuring better female representation at senior levels. UKHospitality will use it as the basis for our work championing diversity among our membership and across the whole hospitality sector.”