International Women's Day 2021
Posted on 8th March 2021 at 06:47
Happy International Women’s Day 2021. Here at Four Corners Hospitality Group we spent 5 minutes with our co founder Kym Kapadia – Chief Commercial Officer. In this interview she answers questions why women should pursue a career in Hospitality and highlights the opportunities for women and how to be successful.
Today is International Women’s Day 2021 and here at Four Corners Hospitality Group we spent 5 minutes with our co-founder Kym Kapadia – Chief Commercial Officer. In this interview Kym tells us why women should pursue a career in Hospitality and highlights the opportunities for women and how to be successful.
1.How have your experiences of being a woman working in hospitality got you to where you are today?
Working within the largest “minority” group women across the hospitality, travel and leisure sector has taught me no end of lessons, most notably that of the slow progress being made to see women in top leadership, board-member or role-model positions. The sector has little trouble attracting women at junior or middle management, and my first hand-experiences – more pronounced in some parts of the world – have helped me try things that scare me, believe in myself and answer to the repeated statement “you won’t be able to do this” with “watch me”.
2. What is your experience of being a woman in our industry and how has it changed over the years?
I didn’t used to really believe that there was a difference in the way women were treated – I was naïve and somewhat blinkered. Then as I’ve progressed through my career, and moved to various parts of the world, my eyes were opened as to how different cultures defined a woman’s “place”. It made me more determined. Despite fantastic steps being made in the right direction, there are a significant number of especially small-to-medium sized businesses that don’t think there’s any issue with gender imbalance, nor see it as a priority.
3. What advice would you give to young women entrepreneurs starting in the hospitality industry?
- Practice, practice, practice - you’ll build more confidence in your strengths
- Relinquish control – with hundreds of decisions to make on a daily basis, accepting that you can share the load it helps give you room to breathe and work as a team
- Do the things that scare you – overcoming hurdles boosts confidence like nothing else
- You don’t need to do it on your own – find a mentor or role model
- Adopt a play attitude – give yourself permission to let go, and stop being an adult all the time
- Break it down – absolutely everything is surmountable, if broken into small chunks
4. What tips would you give to women in our industry?
Don’t underestimate yourself and be ready to work that little bit harder than some of your colleagues – it will be worth it!
5. Any changes you would like to see happen with Women in Hospitality?
The sector attracts a high number of female graduates, but needs to do more to retain them. More female Executive Committee members are in HR rather than Commercial or Finance, giving a false view on the sector’s progress and the talent pipeline for CEO and top leadership roles.
6. Do you think the hospitality industry has some way to go?
Most definitely, although it’s moving in the right direction, and I’d still choose it over any other profession in the world!
7. Unlike the industry standard of men dominating the boardroom there are only 7% of Women CEO's in the Hospitality industry - what do you think about this now you are at FCHG?
As we build our team at Four Corners Hospitality Group we already have 50% women as part of the team and going forward our aim is to create a culture where its all about the talent and any gender is equally recognised, remunerated and regarded. This is definately an area we can change going forward.
8. What perspective of being a woman have you brought into your style of management?
Empathy, listening, multi-tasking, teamwork and being self-reflective.
9. Do you think there is a lack of women in hospitality and why?
Yes of course, and more so further up the food-chain. In part due to a lack of flexibility in working conditions and/or support for balancing careers with family is systemic…although the pandemic has helped that and hopefully looking forward this will see an immediate change. There’s also the legacy perception of a ‘blokey/laddish’ culture, that hinders the sector’s attempts to attract the best talent.
10. Is there anyone male or female that inspires you in your career?
Within the industry, Sir David Michels for his massive contribution to shaping our space, and outside the industry, Marie Curie for changing the world by giving us the science of radioactivity.
A great 10 questions and answers from Kym – Thank You!
Tagged as: gender equality, Hospitality, hospitality insights, Hotel Advice, Hotel Consultancy, hotel management, hotel news, International Women's Day, leadership
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