Closing the gender gap

Closing the gender gap

Work still needs to be done to ensure that women are represented in higher-grade roles and remunerated accordingly, as Mark Dickinson of DONE! Hospitality Training Solutions points out.

One of the key areas of building a great working environment is to grow a team with a gender balance that is equal and fair throughout the entire organization. While women make up as much as 54 percent of the hospitality workforce, according to a World Tourism Organization report published in 2019, they are frequently to be found in lower paying and less prestigious roles, such as housekeeping and food service. According to the report, this gender gap is evidenced differently in various regions, Africa and Asia scoring higher, and Europe and the Americas lower.
The gender gap is not only about having a numerical balance of men and women in the workplace, it is also about ensuring that women are fairly represented in leadership and executive roles, and that their pay reflects the responsibilities that they carry, rather than based upon gender.
While this may look like a reasonably easy problem to solve, it has many important elements that must be considered if support is to be provided to women as they participate in leadership.
Equal pay: this is the easiest of the challenges to overcome and can be done at the stroke of a pen. Implement a policy of pay grades and apply it equally to all, no matter the gender of the holder.
Equal HR and hiring policy: ensure that the HR team are fully conversant with an equal opportunity hiring policy based upon ability, experience and qualifications, and not on any biases toward any particular group.
Help out with the difficult stuff: raising
a family and running a business are both exceptionally challenging occupations and combining the two creates specific problems that few workplaces are ready to address. The most obvious one is childcare. Creating childcare facilities or provisions for parents is a necessity for allowing top performance. A distracted mind benefits no one and creating a support system benefits everyone. Parental leave for either gender plays an important role in closing the gender gap as you may employ one half of the equation, while the other parent may be working somewhere else, requiring them to carry the family duties in support of their partner.
Support flexible working patterns: work from home and work flexibility became the norm during the Covid-19 pandemic and businesses were able to function in different ways, while facing the challenge of personnel not being present in an office all the time. As we seek to close the gender leadership gap, flexibility will remain a key word, allowing leaders to be creative in how they fulfil their obligations.
Offer learning opportunities: training, mentoring and coaching all play a significant role in creating excellence in the workplace. It is essential that women and men are given equal and fair access to learning opportunities and are provided with powerful mentors and coaches, with the specific objective of advancing their growth within the organization to assure greater business success.
Current leadership within the industry must resolve to take personal responsibility to address gaps through an individual commitment to building exceptional companies that are led by a fair representation of men and women at all levels of their organizations.

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Mark Dickinson
Hospitality Training Solutions
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Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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