Importance of Diversity in the Workplace

Is D.E.I (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) still necessary in the hospitality industry’s leadership roles? Based on research, LinkedIn data in the new Global Gender Gap Report, and viewability – the answer is undoubtedly.

In the hospitality industry, the representation of women and people of color in senior leadership roles, such as CEOs, CFOs, and Directors of Operations, is significantly lower than that of white men. A detailed analysis of the current state of women in hospitality leadership revealed that in 2023, women accounted for approximately 52% of all employees in the industry, yet only 36% occupied leadership roles in the United States. Similarly, in Canada, women constituted 58% of the hospitality workforce but held only 34% of leadership positions. In the European Union, women held an average of 41% of hospitality management roles. The global trend shows that, despite constituting a majority of the workforce, women are underrepresented in leadership positions across various regions.​

Further emphasizing the disparity, a report by the AHLA Foundation indicated that women now hold one in four chief-level positions at hotel companies, primarily in human resources and sales/marketing roles. At the director level, there’s now an equal number of women and men, marking progress from previous years. However, this is the sixth annual benchmark report, underscoring the slow and steady progress toward increasing women’s representation in executive leadership roles in the hospitality industry​.

Moreover, the underrepresentation is even more pronounced for women of color. In 2021, women of color composed just 13 percent of C-suite roles, lagging behind both men and white women on the corporate ladder. This statistic highlights the severe underrepresentation of women of color at the executive level and underscores the need for more inclusive and equitable representation in leadership roles within the hospitality industry.​