Over time, many hotels have witnessed gender diversity issues in the hotel's top management which could have significant impacts on the performance. While increased gender diversity at operational and managerial levels in the hotel industry can be observed, women represent only a small minority in top management positions and at the highest levels of executive leadership. This article will depict a range of facts and figures which are validated through various peer-reviewed research articles and the author's MSc research.
Women make up approximately 47% of the workforce and 51% of hospitality employees. Even with the increase in the number of female executives and the higher educational achievements by women, there is still a lack of diversity in top positions. However, studies concur that more women in top management positions in hotels increase the firm's performance. This is mainly because of women's effective leadership style. Leadership styles can have a direct impact on the stress levels of employees where transformational leadership can mitigate stress and burnout as opposed to transactional leadership.
The Transformational leadership style involves establishing oneself as a role model by gaining the trust and confidence of followers; the leader ensures that followers are consciously aware of the importance of sharing organizational goals and values. They also ensure that followers know how to achieve these goals by mentoring and empowering them. Empirical evidence portrays that women are more effective and successful in adopting a transformational leadership style in comparison with men. Moreover, women in top management positions in hotels may have positive effects on the career development of women at lower levels within the organizations through mentor and role models effects.
Women tend to be more nurturing, caring, and sensitive than men, and these characteristics are more aligned with transformational leadership. Since transformational leadership suits women's leadership better, various studies suggest that women's transformational leadership will be more trusted by their followers, which in turn will help to develop a close connection between the leader and subordinates in hotels. It is therefore postulated that trust in women leaders will positively affect subordinates' connectivity and performance which leads to increased firm performance.
Hence, more women in a hotel's top management lead to increased performance of the hotel. Various studies have proved increased performance in terms of occupancy, revenue, net profit, etc. For instance, a global hotel chain that had around 34% of women in top management had a net profit percentage change higher than hotels that had women compositions less than 30%. Therefore, it is imperative for hotels to have more effective women leaders in top management to maximize the firm's performance.