Championing diversity in hospitality

 Championing diversity in hospitality


In a world where cultural differences are celebrated, Chantal Milky, senior associate of HVS Executive Search, explores how the hospitality sector is promoting diversity and inclusivity.

Welcoming cultural abundance

With the uniqueness of each culture, from cuisines that explore different flavors to décor, artistic presentation, chef savoir-faire, professional hoteliers and multilingual staff, resorts, hotels and restaurants all over the world have presented guests with an array of cultural and artisanal gestures that imprint unforgettable marks. This is the remarkable feature of the hospitality industry: the ability to put together this amazing mosaic of cultures.

The mosaic thrives thanks to a diverse global workforce contributing knowledge, skills, and authentic hospitality to enrich guest experiences.

Empowerment through skills and knowledge development

Positive empowerment extends beyond cultural richness. Consequently, restaurants and hotels keep investing in proactive training, mentorship, leadership workshops, conferences and industry events. This nurtures knowledge and skills, motivating staff and helping them excel in their corporations. More and more women are breaking through to top positions in the corporate world, thereby taking on leadership roles, from CEOs to presidents and partners. Regardless of one’s background, emotional intelligence, hard work and commitment are rewarded.

Inclusivity as the cornerstone of tomorrow

The forefront of the hospitality sector is the ongoing commitment and effort to cater to a wide range of needs through the input of diverse identities and perspectives of talents, be it in architecture and design, developing in distinctive and prime locations or the ongoing creation of services. Among the inclusive qualities in leaders that have contributed to the industry’s success are open-mindedness, empowerment, effective communication and collaboration, and the teams that abide by these qualities have been shown to be 35 percent more productive than non-inclusive teams.

To ensure guests have enjoyable and beautiful experiences, hotels and restaurants have branched out to different customer segments, from family resorts with children’s recreational activities to accommodations for special needs travelers to even solo and business travelers. This continuous innovation in inclusivity will drive the future of the hospitality trend to epic heights.

Drawing inspiration from Switzerland

Switzerland caters to the preferences and needs of a global clientele. For example, Swiss hospitality properties employ staff who are multilingual and can communicate with different nationalities.

Data insights: uncovering trends

As the Middle East continues to develop, its hospitality industry is becoming more innovative in adopting inclusive practices. In Dubai, for instance, 80 percent of hotels and restaurants offer multilingual services. For example, multilingual menus are available while the majority of staff speak several languages. Cultural sensitivity development programs have blended into the day-to-day work mode of the talent force. A study by Arab hoteliers found that about 60 percent of hotels in the Middle East offer continuous training on cultural awareness and are adopting inclusive policies. Several worldwide luxury chain hotels have a policy of hiring employees from over 100 countries. Other chain hotels have a program called “Cultural Intelligence” that promotes diversity among employees.

Envisioning a bright future

The hospitality industry embellishes its journey with positive empowerment. Thus, it is essential to empower employees and focus on inclusivity and commitment to diversity across the globe. After all, our differences are our greatest strength.

Chantal Milky,
senior associate of HVS Executive
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