Article on #EmbraceEquility by InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort
Irfan Khan, Director of Sales & Marketing, InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort, IHG Hotels & Resorts Embrace Equality is a heart-warming theme for this Women's Day, and as a professional I welcome it wholeheartedly and would go
Director of Sales & Marketing, InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort, IHG Hotels & Resorts
Embrace Equality is a heart-warming theme for this Women’s Day, and as a professional I welcome it wholeheartedly and would go to any length to promote the same in every industry not just hospitality.
Let me begin my thought on the subject by a delightful example: Recently many brands have made the courageous attempt to open hotels managed solely by women. Considering the current environment, it’s difficult to find hospitality professionals in general let alone an all women team leading the operation. Also notable is the fact that at present most international hospitality groups in India struggle to fill in their required quota of 12 – 15% women in the workforce.
However, women have proved time and again that they shine in this world where skill, determination and hard graft are required 24/7. It’s these critical factors and more that drive overall success and performance – making hospitality an industry where women truly thrive. They are compassionate and more eloquent when it comes to communicating clearly and professionally. This helps create connections, which is a key in our people-based industry. Empathy is also important, and women are simply better at being able to understand, recognise and predict the emotions and needs of guests.
The usual reasons quoted for shortage of women professionals in hospitality are timings, family objections, managing children, etc. The issues compound when token mention of the “need to include” discussions find prominence once a year and then the discourse fades away. No action plan is prepared by industry leaders who otherwise excel in preparing action plans, sometimes even for fixing door handles. I say this only half-jokingly as these issues surrounding while creating gender equity in the workforce are at best postulated by the men who do most of the hiring. No serious survey is done as to what women really want. No study has yet been done classifying the issues that women currently face including the most important of all their safety. Individual companies have taken strides in this direction by providing fully functioning day-care centres, pickup and drop service, continuing education facility and encouragement, which probably works but is that what the women want, and is that all?
This women’s day I invite all my women colleagues and women professionals to voice their side of what they expect from their employers in the Embrace Equality initiative. I am also proud to state that my team is 50% women who are thorough professionals and a delight to work with. Happy women’s day.
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