Women In Hospitality, We’re Here To Stay

When you think of the word “business”, what comes to your mind first? Is it money, a handshake, or a man in a suit? Because for me, it has always been a woman.

Throughout my career in this industry, I have found women to be an example of dedication, hard work, and compassion. The downside of today’s business world is that most of these women go by unrecognized or they’re not given the right opportunities. The world is changing, and I’m here to tell you why women are staying in the hospitality business world for good.

Have you heard the saying “behind every successful man, there’s a woman”? Well, I think it should go both ways. We need each other in order to grow and succeed. The success of one shouldn’t mean the other one’s failure, because the combination of our qualities becomes much more powerful than you think. 

The understanding of this is what makes any business stronger. There needs to be more balance between men and women in leadership positions.

One research study found that the two biggest challenges keeping women from leadership positions are that women are held to higher standards (43%) and many businesses aren’t “ready” to hire women for top executive positions (43%).

Other cited challenges included family responsibilities not leaving enough time for running a major corporation (23%), women don’t have access to the same kind of connections as men (20%), and women being less likely to ask for promotions and raises (18%).

Why are we the ones being held to higher standards when we’re both equally capable?

Why don’t we have access to the same kind of connections?

And more importantly, why are many businesses “not ready” to hire women for top executive positions?

I think the answer is that some people haven’t realized that women can do it all. We can still have a family (if we wanted to) and own a company. We can still be emotional beings and make smart decisions regarding our business. We can raise a family while having a successful career.

Women have started to make a difference despite facing challenges. If we’re not in the corporate world, we’re becoming entrepreneurs and business owners. 

According to a subset of data in the 2020 State of Small Business report from Guidant Financial and the Lending Club, there are more female African-American small business owners than the general population of business owners. In the American small business universe, 27% of small businesses are women, and among African-American-owned businesses, 35% are women.

There are hundreds and thousands of women who have proved what we’re capable of. Women who didn’t listen to the first “no’s” that they were given. Women who had dreams. Women who went very far outside their comfort zones and broke barriers. Women who have paved the way for the rest of us.

The perfect example is a General Manager I used to work with. She was not only a great businesswoman and leader, but she was also an immigrant from France living in the US, running a 5-star luxury hotel, and greeting every employee by name. She would roll up her sleeves in the middle of a busy brunch to run the pass or bus tables in heels. She was the representation of what I always pictured when I thought of the word “business”. When I thought of strength, success, and passion.

I grew to not only admire her but to aim to be better and someday, follow her footsteps. She made such an impact on me, that even now, 4 years later, I consider her one of my role models.

I’m confident to say that thanks to women like her, the way we see the world is changing. At the end of the day, men and women should always be a team, not competitors.

And this is why women in the hospitality business world are here to stay.

We’ve seen what we can do. We know what it takes to get there and we know how far we can go.

So buckle up, we’re here to lead.

And we’ll lead with our hearts.

Maria Navarro is a new contributor to Harri. Born and raised in Mexico, Maria moved to the US with big dreams! Though only 27 she has a passion for hospitality and has worked in a variety of management positions for luxury hotels. Now Maria is pursuing her other love––writing and connecting with people ––and has launched her copywriting business, offering services in both English and Spanish. 

You can read more of her work at mariawriting.com.

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