244 | Missing Rungs: A slow climb for women in hospitality leadership


A new study by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org reveals that over the past five years Corporate America has made some progress in gender diversity, including increasing the number of women in leadership.

Although that finding is promising, women remain underrepresented in business leadership across the board and continue to lack access to opportunities available to their male counterparts. Representation of women in high-ranking leadership has grown since 2015, according to the findings in the report titled Women in the Workplace 2019.

Forty-four percent of the 330 companies participating in the study have slightly increased the number of women in executive roles.

The 44 percent have three or more women in their C-suites. That’s up from 29 percent of companies in 2015.

It’s progress, but it’s not a dramatic difference. This and other studies show women continue to face barriers to leadership and financial gain in Corporate America, including the hotel and travel sectors.

As the year 2020 kicks off we wanted to check in with some women in the hospitality and travel industry who are either role models of leadership or are organizing programs that celebrate, educate and empower women to keep climbing and not stop until they reach the top.

This episode is the first part of report about the progress women are making in leadership in the hospitality industry. It is a mix of interviews with guests, including Peggy Berg, founder of Castell Project; Kristin Intress, returning CEO of WorldHotels; Laura Mandala, founder of Mandala Research and creator of Women in Travel and Tourism International; and Clara Carter, founder of Multi-Cultural Convention Services Network and founder of Women in Tourism and Hospitality.

Resources and Links

Related Episodes

  • Episode 204, Bias and Backward Thinking: What’s holding women back
  • Episode 218, Yes, Girls Allowed: More women venturing into hotel investment
  • Episode 209, Black-Owned Hotels: NABHOOD opens doors of opportunity
  • Episode 223, Grading Curves: NAACP diversity report card reveals weaknesses in hotel companies
  • Episode 224, Mixed Messages: Multicultural and heritage tourism is big business
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