‘A few hotel owners aren't too keen on hiring female staff’' says Laurent Voivenel, Swiss-BelHotel International

Voivenel also spoke about the need to bring women into better positions in the industry

Laurent Voivenel speaking at this year's Great GM Debate
Laurent Voivenel speaking at this year's Great GM Debate

Several hotels are working on increasing the number of women in the workforce, but Laurent Voivenel, senior vice president, Operations & Development for the Middle East, Africa & India, Swiss-BelHotel International believes that the real question is what are properties doing to actually give women better opportunities.

Speaking on the Women in Hospitality panel at Hotelier Middle East’s GM Debate 2019, Voivenel also said that there are a few hotel owners who don’t want to hire women.

He explained: “Some owners have told me that they don’t want to hire female staff at the property, because if they are upset they won’t be able to express their feelings to a female staff member, because they find it difficult to yell at them. This is the reality that the industry is facing.”

Talking about the need to give women better opportunities, Voivenel said: “46% of the world’s workforce is female, the hospitality industry has 53.7%, so my real concern is not the female percentage. What are we actually doing to give women better opportunities?”

He added: “We are still struggling to bring women to bigger positions in the industry. That is something we must focus on.”

Talking about the pay gap in the industry, Voivenel explained how it manifests in the industry, “As soon as the payroll budget is dropped, very often people tend to hire more women. It’s the same sad situation around the world and it is something we need to change."

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