Women in C-Suite

Although women have advanced tremendously over the last 10 years in holding corporate leadership positions, there is still much progress to be made. However, recent changes in the landscape of C-Suite leadership, as well as advancements in company learning and development programs, and refocused diversity efforts in human resources and talent acquisition teams is quickly accelerating the trajectory for more female leaders in the workplace.

In 2021, it was noted by the Castell Project, which analyzed 671 hospitality companies in the U.S. and Canada to produce its 2021 leadership study, that there was an increase in women holding C-Suite executive roles, specifically in the hospitality industry, due to a shifting perception of diversity within the corporate sector.

Today’s Women Leaders

The typical corporate office in the hospitality industry has about three male chief officers for every one female chief officer, however depending on the location that ratio can go higher or lower in either direction. Despite this, the needle is slowly moving in favor of women.

Women leaders are found most commonly in human resources departments, typically holding chief, executive vice president, senior vice president and vice presidents and director titles. A few more were sprinkled throughout the C-level in accounting, finance, and other cost centers. While women leaders dominate nearly 60 percent of chief roles in Hospitality Human Resources, other area continue to grow. The percentage of women in sales leader roles is up by 3%, and the number of women in Vice President roles outside of the HR field in hospitality is up by 7 percent from previous years. Finance was another standout in terms of growth, with women taking 29 percent of EVP and SVP roles, up from only 17 percent in 2019. 

In terms of titles, it is more common for women in any hospitality service company to hold director roles. However, the advantage or promotional path to higher positions is often harder to obtain, something many hotel and resort service/ staffing companies need change in order to succeed in the current and future business climate.

Recent Changes in C-Suite Leadership

Discussions around the lack of women represented in C-Suite leadership roles began escalating in 2020, amid increasing discussions about diversity within business and social sectors.  At the time of these discussions, the odds of a woman reaching an executive leadership position was one woman to nearly 6 men.  

Significantly more women than men lost or left hospitality jobs during this period, serving to further reduce the numbers of female talent to possibly draw from for future leadership roles. However, this has been slowly changing over the course of the last three years. Now that the effects of the pandemic are dying down, and more of the Baby Boomer generation who previously held executive roles are retiring, more women are returning to work, giving hospitality companies the chance to diversify and change the look of their departments.

Benefits of Women In C-Suite Leadership Roles

Studies show that profits and share prices are much higher when women are well represented in leadership roles within their companies, especially in companies based around providing quality services and client interactions, such as in the hospitality field.

Data also shows that companies that invest in building a more empathetic, nurturing workplace for all employees, stand a better chance of retaining workers, and offsetting burnout, leading to higher productivity levels.

By nurturing a culture in which women have equal opportunities to achieve their future potential, the hospitality industry will be strengthened. If this doesn’t happen, the consequences will not only hurt women but the industry as a whole. The current state of the hospitality industry requires long-term thinking, as well as creativity, strong leadership, and a clear understanding of the value of women in leadership roles to these organizations.

How To Support C-Suite Women Leaders

The first step in supporting C-Suite women leaders, is to take a long, hard look at your company culture. Is 2023 has shown anything so far, it’s that large benefits come to companies that are willing to change, and take a true, authentic interest in building a company culture that thrives on diversity, integrity, and empathy.

Studies also show that accountability plays a huge role in talent development. When employees are trusted with decisions that matter to a company’s bottom line, they stand a better chance of getting to the C-suite. Initiatives to hire and train women into these areas where they are underrepresented can contribute to female leadership growth. Women who feel they are being invested in by their companies often stay longer and gain more effective opportunities to move up in the leadership ranks.

There are also many cost-effective programs companies can implement to empower and train women leaders. Mentorship programs are a good first step in training, retaining, and progressing female talent. Less formal mentorships can potentially be even more valuable to career growth, and these are situations that women themselves can seek out by identifying current leaders within their organizations they admire who are willing to help sponsor and advise them.

MasterCorp Leader Spotlight

Among our celebrated executive leadership is our Chief Human Resources Officer, Nancy Tallent. Nancy is a highly respected Global Resources Executive with expertise in talent management, succession planning, total rewards, and overall HR operations.

Before joining the MasterCorp family, she was Senior Vice President and Chief Human Capital Officer for Reyes Beer Division, of Reyes Holdings, LLC, the sixth largest privately held company of the U.S. While there, she championed many inclusion and equality efforts, including the development of the BREW (Balancing the Recruitment and Engagement of Women) Alliance, bringing together seven major breweries to modernize the beer industry and make it more inclusive to women, and people of all ethnicities.

She serves on many boards related to the advancement and development of women, and she is a recipient of the Central Florida Women’s Resource Center Summit Award for community and business and leadership.

Her focus on teambuilding, positive workplace culture, and engagement makes he an invaluable member of out team, and we are proud to have her as one of our leaders.

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