November 22, 2021 | tourism

Women leaders play transformational role in hospitality

The hospitality industry is a constantly evolving, dynamic and fast-paced environment that is widely influenced by globalisation, making it increasingly important to have a workforce that is reflective of the diverse world we live in.

However, there is still a lack of women in leadership positions, despite studies consistently showing the important value that women bring as leaders to the workplace and their ability to manifest leadership styles that relate positively to effectiveness.

According to research published in the Harvard Business Review in 2020, women were rated highly on 13 of the 19 competencies required for leadership effectiveness, in Jack Zenger’s and Joseph Folkman’s assessment on how women are better leaders during a crisis.

Diversity and inclusion have always been core to Hilton’s workplace culture. And driving women in leadership continues to be a key focus for me, from my previous role as Regional Director to my current role as General Manager. I truly believe that women possess certain qualities that are crucial to success in management, including good interpersonal skills, determination, patience, and accountability.

Female leaders also tend to provide an accommodating and nurturing environment, thereby revolutionising management style and culture. Female leaders are known to perform high on transformational leadership aspects and they are efficiently able to be corporate leaders, not only in the hospitality industry, but in the global economy at large. They tend to listen to their co-workers, respect different points of view, and find solutions to given problems.

At DoubleTree by Hilton Sharjah Waterfront Hotel & Residences, women have been spearheading and redefining hospitality, and I am proud of the fact that we are able to support more women in leadership roles. With women making up around 60% of the leadership team, some of our more noteable appointments include Fatuma Abdul as the first female Head of Security at Hilton in the UAE, Amna Alraeesi as the first Emirati Sales Lead at Hilton in the UAE, and Nadia Kaser, who is leading a 100% female Commercial Team.

Being part of a company that also values diversity, the DoubleTree by Hilton Sharjah Waterfront Hotel and Residences team is truly multi-national with our talent hailing from over 30 countries spanning Ukraine, Germany, Switzerland, South Africa, and Russia. Evidence has shown that diverse and inclusive companies are likely to make better and bolder decisions and are more likely to innovate and anticipate shifts in consumer needs and consumption patterns, thereby helping the organisation gain a competitive edge.

A nurturing leadership style is thought to play a strong and effective role in the hospitality industry, owing to its ability to increase passionate commitment, generate opportunities, provide progressive vision, create a strong purpose and meaning, and build positive expectations. According to research, it is also known to help enhance employee commitment, the quality of services and performance and also helps improve employee loyalty, social behaviour and satisfaction. Transformational hospitality leaders push their teams to stay motivated and productive. And ultimately, this translates into the service provided to their guests.

As the Brookings Gender Equality Series published in 2020 states: “We need to aim higher, and for an economy that compensates women fairly for their work, improves access to jobs through family-friendly policies, and supports women in their chosen roles as breadwinners, mothers, or some combination of the two.”

This is a philosophy that is fully encouraged and supported by Hilton, and we are delighted to have so many talented female leaders in our wonderful Sharjah property – making it a benchmark for diversity and gender inclusiveness around the region.

Our brand-new hotel is located in the heart of Sharjah, DoubleTree by Hilton Sharjah Waterfront Hotel & Residences features 156 rooms and 108 family-friendly 1-to-3-bedroom lifestyle apartments. It also offers modern meeting rooms and a business centre, all with floor-to-ceiling windows featuring views of the Al Majaz Waterfront.


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