WICCI Hospitality and Tourism and Indian School of Hospitality (ISH) launch a whitepaper titled “Evaluation of the State of Gender Equity in India’s Hospitality Industry”
New Delhi: The Additional Director General of the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India, Ms Rupinder Brar launched an approach study on gender equity in India’s hospitality industry on 10th March 2022. ISH was appointed as the Chief Research Body for the unique study, commissioned by WICCI Hospitality and Tourism and supported by Brigade Hospitality.
For this study, Dr. Payal Kumar, the Dean of Research and Management Studies at ISH, and her team conducted 23 in-depth interviews of executives at senior and mid-level positions in various organisations. The sample size includes male and female professionals at different levels like Managing Director, Senior Vice President, Country Head, General Manager and Director Human Resources. These executives came from a range of hospitality brands across India, including Marriott International, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Radisson Hotel Group, Accor, OYO, Hotelivate, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Lemon Tree Hotels, Indian Hotels Company Limited, Fortune Hotels, and Hyatt Hotels & Resorts.
The study revealed several prejudices and barriers to women who aspire for leadership roles, which were broadly put under three categories:
At the individual level: Women employees face more work-life pressure than their male counterparts. Their networking capabilities are underestimated and it is assumed that they face mobility issues when they have to travel for work.
At the group level: Stereotyping by colleagues, preconceived notions and paternalistic attitudes of bosses are a major hindrance.
At the firm level: A lack of mentoring opportunities and gender stereotypes by employers pose a grave challenge.
Talking about the research, Dr. Payal, the Dean of Research and Management Studies at Indian School of Hospitality says, “We live in an overtly patriarchal society, where women are expected to excel as employees at work and primary caregivers at home to children and elderly in-laws.” She goes on to say, “The study makes it clear that for women in India to reach the top of the booming hospitality industry, they not only need talent and drive but also deep structures of organisational and familial support.”
This study is expected to lead to policy recommendations on achieving gender equity, or ‘fairness of treatment’ for both male and female employees in terms of rights, benefits and opportunities. It is hoped that the suggestions will lead to positive action by policymakers in the government, which will prove significant for the hospitality and tourism industry. More research in this area and subsequent policy changes can help India rise in the Global Gender Gap Index, where it poorly ranks at 108.
Dilip Puri, Founder & CEO, Indian School of Hospitality, also shared his thoughts on this collaboration. He said, “We’re proud to work with WICCI Hospitality and Tourism on this whitepaper and be the frontrunners in conducting research on gender equity. This research will be a big step towards creating awareness about the issues women face, and will help make hospitality more inclusive. With women making up for more than half of our faculty and staff, we make a conscious effort to promote equality and diversity. It’s clear that even though women reach top positions in other industries, they are often underrepresented in hospitality and tourism. While the percentage of women employed in these sectors are high, they remain confined to unskilled, low paying jobs and rarely rise to leadership roles. So with this initiative, we aim to bring about a positive change in policies and make the industry a more progressive space for people, irrespective of their gender”.
Ms Kanika Hasrat, National President of WICCI Hospitality and Tourism and Area Director, IHCL said on the occasion, “This is a one-of-a-kind initiative by the WICCI Hospitality & Tourism Council in collaboration with Indian School of Hospitality. We are fortunate to have Ms Rupinder Brar with us this afternoon. Ms Brar has been an integral part of the study’s initiation and receives her first copy of the white paper today. I would encourage the industry to review this research on ‘Evaluation of the state of Gender Equity in India’s Hospitality Industry’ with a keen eye. It will help us work together to recalibrate our businesses and make them truly inclusive. The women at WICCI Hospitality and Tourism are aligned to work with industry partners to build focused conversations, provide mentoring opportunities, offer a level playing field for women and instill a culture of diversity in leadership. It is with this clear and ultimate goal of more women in leadership that we will all thrive”.
Ms. Ritu Chawla Mathur, National Vice President of WICCI Hospitality and Tourism and Managing Partner Prognosis Global Consulting added “There couldn’t be a more apt time than the month that recognizes women, to launch our Gender equality study, in tandem with this year’s IWD theme of ‘gender equality for a sustainable future’. I do believe that it’s us women that must rewrite our own narratives in these turbulent times, and take action to create and encourage a gender equal mindset in Hospitality and Tourism, and the world at large. It is not our attempt to make women strong. They already are, its about changing the way the industry perceives that strength.“