A Women In Hospitality event gave female students from Glion’s MBA course an insightful education into the industry. The Institute of Hospitality organized the event, which took place on Wednesday 20 September at the Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, while four experts from industry led the discussions.

Push yourself forward and keep inspiring

Speaker events form an integral part of Glion’s teaching model, as they enable students to get direct exposure to experts within the luxury and service sectors. The Women in Hospitality event addresses the most challenging issues women face within the industry, while providing expert advice from four leading hospitality figures:

  • Debrah Dhugga – DUKES Hotel
  • Tracy Fairclough – Turpin Smale Catering Consultants
  • Sally Beck – Royal Lancaster Hotel London
  • Angela Maher – Oxford School of Hospitality Management

Together, they want women to believe in themselves and to inspire others. “We want you all to spread your wings and push yourselves forward,” said Debrah. “We want female leaders in managerial positions, so it’s important not to doubt yourself. What happens if/when you get rejected? You move on. You have to believe in yourself.”

In addition, Tracy believes that it is the hospitality workers of the future that can lead the change. “The students in this room are the generation that can push that little bit harder. From that, just imagine from that what the industry will look like in a few years’ time”, she said.

Making hospitality fairer for both sexes

The guest speakers also promote gender equality, including ensuring men within the industry get the same rights that women do. “We need to create a culture at work where men say they want to see their kids at school,” Sally said. “I will be cut more slack than my male counterparts, while male employees won’t even ask because generational history stops them from doing so.”

However, those in attendance believe that a female employee quota isn’t a positive step forward. Opening up the discussion to the room, most veto such an idea, stating it won’t encourage growth. Others also feel women employed in hospitality roles would want to know they fully deserve their position.

Selling the positives to future Glion students

The four speakers consider hospitality to be a viable career option for future generations. “When I tried to get into hospitality, I was steered away from it as it wasn’t seen as a career,” Tracy said. “It’s important we promote the industry more, and show it’s about the lifestyle and the experiences.”

Furthermore, Angela thinks mentoring should be a mandatory part of every person’s career. “When I’m recruiting students, they often say their parents want them to study law or accountancy. Therefore, providing mentoring will give them more help when entering the industry.”

As a result, Glion student Anne-Sophie Antolin Perez took their advice on board. “Thanks to the event, I now have myself a mentor,” she said. “I feel very inspired.”

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Glion Institute of Higher Education
Glion Institute of Higher Education is a private Swiss institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality, luxury and event management to an international student body across three campuses in Switzerland and London, UK.
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