October 27, 2017 – Jeff Weinstein, editor in chief of HOTELS Magazine since 1994, scrutinizes the "good ol' boys' network" in the hospitality industry.
On the back of the heightened attention on sexual harassment in the workplace, he is looking at recent allegations that have arisen at a privately US owner and operator of luxury hotels and seeks input from industry veterans on the topic of treatment of women in the hospitality workplace.
In a conversation with Lindsey Ueberroth, President and CEO of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Weinstein learns that it is “frustrating that many women who work in hospitality, especially when it comes to the executive level [...], continue to be treated as though people are surprised we can thrive in predominantly male industry . “ Ueberroth continues, saying "I cannot tell you how many interview questions I have to field about 'what it feels like to be a woman CEO in hospitality' and 'how do I find work/life balance' when my male counterparts do not and when all I should be talking about is the business of being a CEO regardless of the fact that I may wear a dress to work instead of a pantsuit.”
When talking to AETHOS Managing Director and CEO Keith Kefgen, Weinstein's conversation turns to the topic of 'power'. Kefgen says "[...] the old boys’ network in the hotel industry is on the verge of extinction.” He continues, referencing an AETHOS study on the 'glass ceiling', stating that it "found less systemic discrimination in the hotel workplace than ever before." “There is still ways to go, but more women will be in leadership roles in the coming years,” he added. “It appears there has been a tipping point with the Harvey Weinstein debacle, as well as what happened with Chef John Besh (a New Orleans-based chef facing sexual harassment allegations). But remember, this type of harassment is more about power than sex. I suspect that people in power, regardless of their chromosomes makeup, will always be tempted to act this way.“
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