Vice President, HVS Executive Search
Lacey Hagen, Vice President, HVS Executive Search, will provide insight into her experiences as ...
A Desire for Diversity: HR & Diversity Day Two Recap
I had the pleasure of attending the HR & Diversity Summit in Boston last week as a member of the “young professionals” panel A View of the Industry: The Next Generation. I was very proud to be included in the inaugural conference that focused on such an important, yet extremely sensitive topic.
The best way I can summarize the theme of the conference was a thought mentioned by Paul Snyder, IHG vice president of corporate responsibility - The Americas. He discussed a study which demonstrated that groups performed tasks more efficiently when the members were diverse rather than groups comprised of like members.
(Lacey Hagen, HVS Executive Search, Randall Williams, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Tiffany Yu, Leading Learning Institute, The Leading Hotels of the World, Kristine Suh, National Society of Minorities in Hospitality, and Gregory DeShields, Temple School of Tourism and Hospitality Management)
The speakers and panelists exemplified diversity, representing a variety of brands, industry tenures, educational backgrounds, career backgrounds, countries of origin, religious beliefs, political beliefs, races, and ethnicities. In retrospect, the only common ground that we all shared was a passion for hospitality.
The points of discussion during the second day of the summit covered a variety of topics, including industry diversity issues from holistic perspectives, educational issues, industry statistics, diversity initiatives, success stories of individuals who were able to overcome adversity, and, even after all of the strides of progression, the stigma that the hospitality industry still struggles with today.
One particularly thought-provoking statement was made by Dr. Ernest Boger II, chairman and associate professor, Hotel & Restaurant Management Department at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (and the University of South Florida’s first African American graduate) during the panel Industry and Education Working Together to Build Diversity. Dr. Boger discussed the objections he faced while recruiting African American students to dedicate their secondary education to hospitality because of certain perceptions that the industry carried. He said a common response he used to receive from parents was that the only room for African Americans in the hospitality industry was “making beds and opening doors.”
My fellow panelist, Randall Williams, senior resort manager for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, is a beaming example of how the industry has been able to move past the idea that there is a lack of career progression opportunities in the industry for minority groups. Randall explained that understanding the sacrifices of generations before him served as his professional and personal motivation.
While certain issues of diversity may fade to the point of non-discussion, there are new challenges developing that the industry will have to keep up with in the future. I recently worked on an interesting project at work where a client wanted to make an external hire and was searching for a candidate with a significant background in food and beverage, experience in rooms, and, most importantly, incredibly high diversity leadership skills. Why was there such a strong emphasis on diversity leadership? Because this role would be directly and indirectly responsible for managing over 2,000 employees from 70 different countries.
The globe is shrinking and travelers, students, and employees are becoming more internationally adventurous. Travelers and future hospitality leaders from emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil, and Russia have a new set of demands and a new approach to diversity that can no longer be ignored. The hospitality industry must continue to work towards eliminating stigmas and begin embracing people from all over the globe within every tier of employment.
Sunday, March 03, 2013 by viagra online
JXhsFo I loved your blog article.Thanks Again.