It is unlikely that the gender inequality will ever come to end at the workplace. Regardless of culture, historical context, or social circumstance, men and women view the world – and often each other – through gender-specific lenses (Tannen, 1990). Women are always criticized in their work despite of them being perfect or neat. Trends keep on changing and to increase female employees in the hospitality industry somehow is trending. Because even the human resource management has noticed that guest do get attracted by beauty. Men can be handsome charming but women throw a completely different atmosphere when around. The service sector is completely in dilemma regarding the women-service-oriented discussions. In addition, there is little question that hospitality organizations are among the most difficult environments for women seeking career advancement and personal satisfaction (Martin, 2000).
Women are considered as delicate darlings when it comes to heavy work of more working hours. But still women work accordingly more than the standard working pattern or hours in actual workplace. Many hospitality organizations put their concern on women career development but still fail to show the concern for their female employees. Topics such as working and balancing family, gender stereotyping, mentoring, etc. are some with which women in the hospitality industry are still dealing with.
In 1943, tips were given to the supervisors for selection more effective female employees which includes:
- To select young married women which decrease the change of flirting by 70%.
- Women who are old and never contacted in public are more likely to get fussy and mess up in front of customers.
- Women are excellent at their work but when assigned tasks they tend to get demotivated.
Despite of women being best at their work and do them perfectly they hold only 47% of the managerial posts. And only 1% of them are at the highest position in the managerial designations. Today, researchers are finding that many women seem to remain in what is termed ‘the marzipan layer just below the top-executive icing- here it explains that women in human resources or sales are only able to move to the executive levels others only attain most probably the director level.
The environment which the hospitality industry gives is itself a strong force in which men and women interact. To describe the hospitality workplace a term ‘sexualized’ is used frequently. The shifts and working hours are irregular and long, men and women work closely during evening and night hours. Restaurants and cuisines are a prime example of a male-dominated hospitality culture. The former director of the French culinary institute once stated that you are going to ruin the spirit if my kitchen if you send women because other workers would lose their focus on work and would concentrate on chasing her. Bringing women and men from different cultures tend them to adjust with the different gender related experiences, expectations and that assumptions often make situations awkward of the female manages and employees.
Job opportunities in the hospitality industry are continuously increasing. In 2004, the United States hired nearly 12 million employees in the hospitality industry which comprises 57% of women and minorities. The biggest food service chains have nearly 44% of the higher-level positions which only have 4% of women at top level executive posts. Women have to decide their career and families in a profound way so that they don’t get the stereotypes in the gender. Whether people are aware of it or not, women on the managerial positions are not allowed to participate in the communicational discussions, recruiting processes, etc. in hotel and restaurant chains senior leaders fail to recognize the need of development for junior colleagues and they neglect the mentoring and especially in their female staff.
In the hospitality industry the gender stereotypes, treating men and women consistent to their gender and positions are the barriers women face in their career advancement. Those who are responsible for the decision making assume that women are less motivated and loyal regarding their male counterparts and are committed to their jobs for short term only. Women need to more flexible maternity leaves and family shifting facilities. With this thinking that female employees are being criticized for not handling the male employees whereas the fact is that male employees still have their male egos which restrict them from hearing to a female employee or manager. Women are misinterpreted as weak managers.
In addition to stereotypes women also have to balance their work and family in an appropriate manner. Women also have the responsibility of their family and the passion of their work which also includes managing young children and aged parents. Many female managers mention that they have juggle a lot between their work and families and have a tradeoff instead of balance. Many men think that women have to sacrifice if they want to survive in this profession. To find alternatives women have to find a help support at home and also have to manage a lot of taunts and different saying. In some cases, women temporarily or presently leave their careers to manage their family evenly and with all that heavy loaded responsibilities their completely forget about their passion id careers.
As men do women also need motivation and mentoring but the senior leaders neglect the need of mentoring in their female employees. As the result women fail to find the best of their skills and abilities. women general managers who faced many difficulties in achieving the top most of their careers put mentoring as the most important factor in learning and developing.
To conclude, I would mention that women are an important part of the hospitality industry and there are many female managers who really manage their male as well as female employees in a good and developing manner. Women with attractive body language and face tend to attract more customers and to be more precise women bring more prestige to the organization. The hospitality industry should consider women as important as the male counterpart and treat them with more respect and they should not be considered as weak.