Industry Update
Press Release 2 March 2021

International Women’s Day 2021 – Meet one of Hilton’s inspirational female leaders

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Hilton Worldwide Family/group

As Hilton's Vice President for Food & Beverage Strategy and Development, Emma Banks plays a key role in developing the culinary innovations that Hilton offers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


Rising to the top in a historically male-dominated industry makes Emma a force to be reckoned with. She is passionate about inspiring other women to follow in her footsteps and enforcing a change for good, to make the food and beverage industry more equal.

During the pandemic, Emma has led the creation of all food and beverage materials used across Hilton's properties in EMEA. This includes making sure Hilton's dining and event spaces deliver a gold-standard cleanliness and safety experience for guests, from creative physical distancing meeting sets, to developing inspiring food and beverage options.

Emma is aware of the challenges women still face and is a strong supporter of the #choosetochallenge campaign theme for International Women's Day 2021. The campaign supports calling out gender bias and inequality to create an inclusive world.

Emma's top five #choosetochallenge leadership tips are:

Let Go of the Demons!

I, like many women, am wired to over worry, have self-doubt and over think issues. According to IWD only four out of 10 women are likely to take a risk in their careers. My advice to you is that if you are given an opportunity, grab it and then work it out! You were offered the opportunity for a reason.

Discover your inner confidence

It's not easy and remember you earned your place at the table. Whilst authenticity and being true to yourself is absolutely key, on occasion you may need to mask it to cover the self-doubt and that is ok, sometimes you need to fake it until you make it. Trust yourself that you are in the job for a reason and that everyone else round the table, men and women, young and old, may have the very same doubts in their heads.

Surround yourself with top talent

If you reach a position where you are able to build up a team, find the very best people you can and let them shine. Don't hire super smart people and try control them. Motivate, inspire, lead them and they will support and create your success.

Walk the walk as a role model

As a senior female leader there is nothing more rewarding than providing support, encouragement and guidance to other female colleagues such as grabbing a cup of coffee for advice, catch up over breakfast with industry peers and formal mentor programmes. I have a group of mentees who I've worked with and still keep in regular touch with.

Be a Flamingo in a flock of gulls!

Don't be afraid to stand out and be yourself. The best companies now want employees to bring their authentic self to work. Its ok to have your own sense of style and approach as long as it is respectful to your environment, culture or workplace. Don't be afraid of your opinions and to be assertive when required, as people will respect you for it.

For International Women's Day (8th March), Hilton is celebrating the inspirational women in the business who have navigated the unprecedented challenges the pandemic has brought. Hilton champions diversity in the workforce and is a headline signatory of the Women in Hospitality charter, being recognised by Great Place to Work in 2019 as the #2 Best Place for Women to Work in the UK.

About Hilton

Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 18 world-class brands comprising more than 6,700 properties and more than 1 million rooms, in 122 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its founding vision to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality, Hilton has welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its more than 100-year history, earned a top spot on the 2021 World"s Best Workplaces list, and been recognized as a global leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for five consecutive years. In 2020, Hilton CleanStay was introduced, bringing an industry-defining standard of cleanliness to hotels worldwide. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, the nearly 123 million members who book directly with Hilton can earn Points for hotel stays and experiences money can"t buy. With the free Hilton Honors app, guests can book their stay, select their room, check in, unlock their door with a Digital Key and check out, all from their smartphone. Visit for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

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