HOW CAN WE BE MORE INCLUSIVE EVERY DAY?
In times where – finally! – we can speak more insistently about inclusion in all aspects of society, it is essential to magnify the debate about the place of women in hospitality. Each area has its modus operandi, and therefore the first step should be changing the scenario to support and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
According to studies, everyone benefits in terms of salary, health, and quality of life if women are treated fairly and equally at home and work. So, all of us, men included, can make a difference.
Imagine if every trade conference, bar show, cocktail week, (the list goes on!) consciously contained 50% women in equal positions. Many more women would have had more opportunities, therefore progressing much faster in their jobs.
A good starting point in hospitality would be necessary to create and develop educational programs within the industry where women can feel welcome and comfortable. Aligned with the education aspect, developing and organizing masterclasses and events where the press and industry members are invited is crucial.
Encouraging women to participate more confidently, alongside brand sponsorships and pop-up collaborations managed by women in the industry, will help a lot with media exposure.
The same applies to achieving constitutional support.
A critical message about fighting for an inclusive industry is how to communicate the idea of feminism and diversity. Having an awareness of which events specifically exclude women, is a crucial part in striving for change. We must speak up directly to the organization behind it. This approach aims to
make them realize that they are not being inclusive, and provide them with solutions to this predicament. We always need an active plan, not just pointing out the problem without a solution. It's about constantly reinforcing women's experiences in hospitality and finding a solution cooperatively.
When we talk about cooperation, and enabling a more inclusive environment, it is crucial to address how the attitudes of men could support our fight. It seems very basic, but it is still the element lacking: men need to listen to women's perspectives, to amplify women's voices and take on the role of educating other men in a way that inspires trust and respect. Men should always reflect on their privilege, and understand how come gender influences the opportunities they've had in their life. Beyond gender, they need to listen to individuals with different backgrounds from their own.
Women are underrepresented in many workplaces and paid less than their male colleagues, partly because their contributions and ideas are often overlooked. Therefore, men must credit their female co-workers' ideas fairly. Women are tired of having our accomplishments stolen by men!
Emphasizing the good ideas of female co-workers, mentioning them in front of higher-ups, and correcting colleagues who misattribute credit is an essential part of treating them fairly. Men must advocate for gender-equitable policies in the workplace as well. More voices are better heard, and we need everyone engaged in making a difference in hospitality.
Finally, it is crucial to advance equality within pay transparency, parental leave, and a confidential reporting structure for sexual harassment. We must challenge sexism, speak up when sexist language is heard, and support female leaders you believe in.
How great would it be if we finally understood that fighting against each other and judging others are not going to do any good, but only amplify problems and the distances between one another.
Inclusivity is acceptance, respect, tolerance, understanding, and support, no matter what you like, who you love, or where you come from.