HSMAI Perspective: Advancing Women in Hospitality

Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, President and CEO, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI)   

As we close another chapter and welcome the New Year, I reflect on HSMAI Foundation’s enduring commitment to our core tenets: attracting, developing, and engaging commercial talent in the hospitality industry. This year, in collaboration with Women in Travel THRIVE, we took a significant step towards our mission with the release of the “The Power of Mentorship” research paper. This study, a critical examination of mentorship’s impact on female leadership in hospitality, offers insightful strategies for nurturing the next generation of women leaders. 

The research, led by Dr. Emily Ma, Professor of Hospitality, University of Surrey and Dr. Laurie Wu, Associate Professor, Temple University, provides a detailed analysis of how mentorship programs can effectively support and elevate women in our industry. It emphasizes the need for organizations to embrace mentorship as a key tool in creating inclusive environments where women can thrive. As we enter 2024, this paper serves as a crucial resource, guiding our efforts to break down barriers and pave the way for greater gender parity in leadership roles. 

Silvia Camarota, Executive Director and Founding Chair of Women in Travel THRIVE says:  

“Through the collaborative efforts of HSMAI Foundation and Women in Travel THRIVE, our joint research emphasizes the transformative impact of mentorship on fostering and empowering female leaders in the hospitality industry. This partnership underscores our commitment to bridging the gender gap and nurturing a diverse, inclusive leadership landscape within our field.

I couldn’t agree more. The new year brings new opportunities for collaboration, mentorship, and building bridges. The HSMAI Century Campaign is about “Building a Bridge to Our Brightest Future” more than a celebration of our past. It is a pledge to the future talent in sales, marketing, revenue, and global distribution fields in hospitality. By focusing on attracting diverse talent, creating through supportive networks, and promoting mentorship and leadership opportunities, we are setting the stage for transformative years ahead.  Individuals can support the Century Campaign and companies are encouraged to support the work of the HSMAI Foundation as a Corporate Talent Partner for 2024. 

Let us unite in this mission as we step into 2024, committed to fostering an industry that values diversity, champions mentorship, and celebrates the achievements of all its members. 

Happy holidays and best wishes for a prosperous New Year! 

Categories: Marketing, Talent and Leadership Development
Insight Type: Articles