Real Estate

Willingness To Take On Challenging, Less Desirable Roles Propels Female Hotel Leaders


Working longer hours, volunteering for much less glamorous tasks and relocating cities have helped many ladies in hospitality rise by means of the ranks, however in some circumstances, there must be extra assist from firms, akin to creating true succession planning and prioritizing promotions inside the group, feminine hospitality leaders say.

Some ladies might not apply or search to be elected in some greater ranked positions as a consequence of a insecurity, too, mentioned V Villas Phuket Resort Supervisor Pannaphat Lapa partially three of a Resort Information Now sequence on ladies in hospitality.

Half three of this sequence dives into how feminine leaders earned success by having the willingness to tackle difficult and fewer fascinating roles, whereas additionally prioritizing their private lives. Learn half one and half two right here.


Impressed by her good friend who labored at a notable lodge in Phuket, Thailand, Lapa determined to pursue an analogous path and landed her first hospitality job on the Sheraton Grand Laguna Phuket. Since then, the trade has opened many doorways for Lapa. She describes the trade as “fast-growing, diverse and with many opportunities to grow.”

She did all she might to progress by means of her dream job by volunteering to tackle additional duties, staying longer hours, being open to suggestions and continuously studying new duties.

“Everybody has a different path, but for me, because I loved what I did so much, I was willing to give my 100% and more,” she added.

Pannaphat Lapa is resort supervisor at V Villas Phuket.

The duty Lapa holds for being a champion for different ladies on her group is one she treats with excessive significance, and he or she mentioned the enterprise will solely thrive when visitors and workers are each taken care of.

“It’s not only always about making big gestures, but in daily acts of advocating for our female co-workers, like giving them the floor to speak during meetings, supporting their ideas and helping them bring those ideas to fruition,” she mentioned.

Lapa mentioned it would not at all times should be a proper top-down initiative. For her property, it is extra about having a robust tradition of natural mentorship and assist, the place everybody feels snug sharing and speaking about their opinions and challenges with out an official channel.

Industrywide, she’s seen fewer ladies really apply or try and work towards being in sure govt positions.

“One of the reasons why women may not apply or seek to be elected in these types of positions is self-confidence. We have to properly address this and encourage women to pursue leadership roles. First and foremost, the industry needs to listen to women and what they need support in,” she mentioned.

Secondly, Lapa feels organizations should encourage ladies and supply them with room to develop. Mentoring applications, for instance, have helped her be taught from skilled leaders and construct confidence. Regardless of how far one goes up of their profession, a mentor is at all times wanted. Lapa mentioned she has two mentors — one inside her group and one exterior of it.

Lapa’s recommendation to ladies within the trade is to “control what you can control” and never view gender, nationality or age as an impediment.

“You may not be able to change others, but what do you have control over? How can you structure your interaction?” she mentioned. “You are a reflection of your own thoughts. However, if it becomes serious, I would suggest speaking up to someone who can provide the support and help to identify the issue.”


Andrews launched into her first hospitality job at a lodge in Manhattan the place she labored the entrance desk. She describes her earlier years within the trade as a transformative interval by which she embraced the willingness to step in and assist out the place wanted, relocate cities and tackle gigs that weren’t deemed as “popular.”

“I do think that part of my early career is very much related to my willingness to take on challenging and less desirable roles. And I think that’s part of paying your dues in the hotel business, and that piece of it can be very challenging if you do already have a family. I was fortunate in that I was mobile, I was single, I was young and able to move and work overnight shifts. That’s still a challenge to women in all industries,” she mentioned.

Ultimately, she took just a few years off after reaching greater roles and having kids. After taking that point off, she had reservations that she would not have the ability to “get back in the business at the same level of success” she had beforehand achieved.

Elizabeth Andrews is basic supervisor at The Opus Westchester, an Autograph Assortment Resort in White Plains, New York.

“It’s daunting to start a career in hospitality as a woman … if I do well in this industry, will I be able to have a family? Will I be able to balance work and life?” she mentioned.

Andrews credit her success of reentering the trade to the community of colleagues and mates she had constructed earlier than taking day without work. She mentioned it is crucial to take care of these contacts.

A speaking level that Andrews feels extra firm leaders must stress is being clear about different roles in peoples’ lives, akin to ladies typically being the first caregiver at residence. Historically, ladies felt they wanted to cover their private life or the actual fact they may want to depart work early to attend a parent-teacher convention, for instance.

“I find that to be very counterproductive,” she mentioned. “I don’t want to apologize for that, and I don’t want to hide that. I would like to think I allow the rest of my team [flexibility] as well.”

Crescent Inns and Resorts, which manages The Opus Westchester, has put many initiatives in place that target range, mentorship, brave conversations and extra, she mentioned.

Andrews’ total recommendation for ladies within the trade is to get as a lot expertise in varied areas as potential, volunteer for tasks that may not really feel as glamorous and trust that it is potential to succeed in greater ranks.


After just a few years within the army, Torres began her hospitality profession with Hyatt Inns Corp. in 2008, the place she acquired many alternatives to maneuver round to varied properties and take a look at totally different roles.

Yajaira Torres is director of gross sales and advertising and marketing on the Hyatt Centric Buckhead Atlanta.

With that additionally got here many challenges as a younger Latina girl, she mentioned. When she first entered the trade, it was male-dominant, particularly within the basic supervisor position.

“It was a whole other layer; it’s like the obstacle course expanded. It’s like you’re a woman, but now you’re a Latina, and then my name. I felt like it was just always … especially as a woman, you have to prove yourself,” she mentioned.

Total, Torres feels she matches properly with Hyatt, noting the corporate has embraced her from the very starting.

Whereas the trade has improved its gender range through the years, she mentioned it nonetheless total stays a problem, most notably relating to ladies asking for promotions and raises.

“Has it affected me personally? I don’t think so. I’ve really had a lot of great opportunities. And I think because of my character, I probably cut through a lot of the BS. Then again, at the same time, being Latina [it’s not always easy],” she mentioned.

Industrywide, Torres feels there must be extra mentorship applications, and never simply on the 100,000-foot degree inside the company headquarters however in every particular person lodge as a result of mentorship aids worker retention and development.

As Torres leads her group, she mentioned a excessive precedence for her is offering a platform that lets group members really feel snug sufficient to have a voice. She additionally makes some extent of “sharing the stage” in group settings.

“Something I’m a huge proponent of is [asking team members], ‘What do you think?’ ‘How can I support you in this vision?” she mentioned. “Everybody brings something so unique to the table that only they can do.”

One piece of recommendation that Torres passes alongside is to search out somebody who will at all times hear.

“If you’re hitting too many roadblocks, certainly reconsider the organization that you work for. [And] I always say to document everything. If you’ve got something going on, having a document of notes and you being able to resort to that document goes a huge way, especially if the situation ends up in the court of law or you have to talk to HR,” she mentioned.


Dunlop first entered the hospitality trade when she attended a Swiss-affiliated lodge college in South Africa the place she studied each administration and operations. After graduating, her first internship passed off in a kitchen.

“I quickly learned that this old school, male-dominated environment was not going to get me the leadership role I needed to be eligible for promotion to transfer or get the visa I needed,” she mentioned. “I ultimately ended up leaving the kitchen and started at front desk to be able to get a J-1 visa to get to the U.S.”

Subsequently, Dunlop landed a task on the Drake Resort, which had three females in management roles who all noticed her potential. Dunlop proved her worth by means of onerous work, providing to work extra time and throughout departments, finally main her to a director of income position.

Annemieke Dunlop is senior vice chairman of gross sales and income at Aparium Resort Group.

“I’m indebted to the leadership at the Drake, the hotel where I ‘grew up,’ for shaping my career through many internal promotional opportunities,” she mentioned.

Whereas Aparium would not have a proper worker assist group for ladies, Dunlop mentioned the corporate’s company management group is 100% feminine. Moreover, its whole property-level gross sales and revenue-management management group is 90% feminine.

“Our teams are often incorporated in cross-discipline projects and focus groups, and [are] well-represented to ensure women always have a seat at the table,” she mentioned.

Dunlop typically sees ladies staying stagnant in key “middle management” roles “as they are excellent at it and strong executors, however not given the opportunity to develop to the next level.” The trail to having extra ladies in management may be achieved by inserting instant emphasis on creating true succession planning and prioritizing promotions from inside.

Eradicating obstacles and being an advocate for her group, no matter gender, title or place, ensures they will deal with fulfilling their roles and efforts to drive outcomes, she mentioned.

Dunlop additionally advises ladies to hunt out a feminine mentor within the management position that they aspire to be in.

“Know your worth and self-advocate, have open discussions with your leader to understand what you need to work on to get to the next level, be vulnerable and receptive to feedback,” she mentioned. “While you may have to ‘prove yourself’ more than your male counterparts, stay focused and determined, hard work will drive results and in turn your success.”

Return to the Resort Information Now residence web page.



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