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Changing Landscape Of Indian Hospitality Industry For Women Leaders

Women across levels are now shaping up the hospitality industry with their hospitality instincts

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The hospitality industry has come a long way from the time when it wasn’t an attractive proposition for women to now being one of top 5 industries that see women workforce across levels. With more and more women stepping into the industry, taking firm steps towards successful careers and making their mark prominent, stories are bound to evolve. The hotel industry is expected to post a robust growth of 7%-9% in FY18-19, according to a report by CARE Ratings which further indicates how the sector is evolving and offering opportunities to women in India. 

However, this wasn't the case a few years ago. Majorly male dominated, the hospitality industry saw a lot of churn from women. Women weren’t considered skilled enough to grab promotions and be in managerial roles even while possessing required and at times more professional qualifications and expertise. Perceptions played a huge role in women losing out on well deserved opportunities and equal pay. While higher emotional quotient is an add on trait, it was perceived that women would not be good at chief development, investment or finance roles as they are weaker negotiators. There were also stereotypes about young mothers. They weren’t considered qualified enough post a break and their men counterparts were given the opportunity to move ahead in their careers. With time, these perceptions seem to have changed for better and hospitality industry is now more welcoming towards women.

Women across levels are now shaping up the hospitality industry with their hospitality instincts. Women leaders in this sector have created a more encouraging environment for other women and helped build a work-life balance. As per industry reports, their caring instinct and higher emotional quotient has led to greater motivation and better results within the team. With such positive changes, the future of women in hospitality industry looks positive, but there is still a long way to go. There are several challenges that a woman still faces in the hospitality domain right from odd working hours to stereotyping and resistance to working in the supervision of a female boss by male colleagues and subordinates. Being a service industry, the job requires one to compromise on their family time by being present 24*7. However, with new policies incorporated by organizations women have more freedom to work out their schedule. Most of these policies have been pioneered by women leaders as they more sensitive and understanding of the situation. With time, the industry has taken cognizance of the skills and value that women leaders bring to the table and this is clearly visible with the rising recruitment of women at senior positions. 

As a woman in this much debated, male-reigned sector, with a successful stint of four decades almost, I know what is there on the platter. All that a woman needs is to identify her strengths, work on developing her skills and show definite signs of capably handling business better. If she enchants with her cooking, chef’s world is her domain; if she is perfect at her housekeeping skills, she can excel at the hotel; if she is wonderful at her business ideas and determination, she is indeed the best choice to be a manager; in short she is everything that takes to be a top notch in this industry. In recent times, the percentage of women in the hospitality industry has risen and it is truly great to see many women leaders in the most successful hotels of the country.

A Midas touch- trust me ladies, that’s something, you all have. All you need is to know it yourself, by heart. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Garima Nagpal

The author is Head Quality, OYO

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