In our world today, the workforce faces many inequalities – gender inequality being one of them. Even though progress has been made in the past few decades, it is important to recognise that gender inequality is still a recurring issue and is a major violation of basic human rights. And yet, most of the conversation surrounding gender equality seems to take place on March 8th. Let’s change that!

Gender inequality persists regularly in every day life and at work. There are major differences between the wages of a man and a woman. For example, in the US, women earn approximately 79 cents to for every dollar earned by men.1 What’s more, women are less represented and present in the work industry. In fact, within the top 50 hospitality companies worldwide, only 23% of board seats comprise women.2

Sexual harassment is another major way in which women face unequal treatment. The hospitality sector has the highest incidence of sexual harassment globally, with 90% of women working in restaurants having experienced sexual harassment while on the job.3

Picture what the future would be like if all genders were equal, everywhere. Imagine the impact on the hospitality industry and every workforce around the world. In this way, the hospitality sector has an opportunity to be a true leader – driving the transition to a better future for all.

By reducing economic inequality – ensuring equal pay across all genders – the hospitality industry has the power to benefit communities in every corner of the world. A balanced payment in the workforce will lead to a higher quality of life – alleviating poverty and helping individuals access basic needs such as water, food, healthcare, education and retirement homes.

Increased representation of women in the workforce will not only promote inclusion of all genders but also influence society – creating a shift towards treating typically discriminated groups, such as people of colour, the LGBTQ+ community and disabled individuals, as equals.

It is crucial that we base opportunities and wages on hard work and merit, which will, in turn, motivate workers to perform better. This would also lead to greater customer service, as a happy workforce results in better-quality service for clientele – strengthening a hotel’s brand.

But how can we achieve a future in which all genders are equal in the hospitality industry?

Whilst it isn’t possible to change the mindset of everyone in our society, by implementing gender equality policies to ensure equal treatment of women at work, each hotel has the opportunity to positively impact the lives of their employees, support local communities and influence guests.

Steps hotels can take to promote gender equality:
  • Putting equal pay policies in place – to ensure that, regardless of gender, individuals with the same job receive equal pay.
  • Implementing pay transparency – to show that you are paying equally, improve morale and inspire other companies to do the same.
  • Using a blind recruitment process – to prevent bias based on gender when assessing work ethic.
  • Implementing and showcasing inclusive policies and leadership programmes – for all people, no matter their gender, race, age, abilities, sexual orientation or religion.

Overall, addressing these persistent issues of equality in our society benefits both companies and society, paving the way for sustainable change for future generations and the future of humanity. By prioritising equality and emphasising that one’s gender does not determine their capabilities, hotels have the ability to strengthen their team, improve their customer service and grow their brand – creating a fair and inclusive world for future generations.

Contributed by Alicia Pierce