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diversity in the hospitality and tourism industry

6 Benefits of top management diversity in the hospitality and tourism industry

The hospitality and tourism industry employs a diverse workforce yet at a senior level there are still issues of equality. Diversity in the hospitality and tourism industry is frequent in lower paid, less skilled jobs. However, senior positions at board level such as CEOs, CFOs and upper management career track are short in minority representation, clearly an issue for the industry’s future and development of skilled workers mirroring its market base.

diversity in the hospitality and tourism industry

Minority workers usually get low-paying entry level jobs in the hospitality and tourism industry

When I travel for work or pleasure or attend a conference in the United States, I know I have a great advantage over other attendants and travelers: I speak Spanish.

Hardly I have travelled to any American state that I have not encountered a smiley Latina or Latino willing to go the extra mile to make me feel at home in a hotel or restaurant. The minute I ask, “¿Habla español?” the big smile is there and communication channels open up.

The conversation can go from guessing each other’s nationality to soccer to places I have visited in their country of origin. And they always want to know more about what I do and how I made it there. Inevitably, I feel welcomed, a bond that builds customer loyalty and the desire to be back to that particular place in the near future.

Any major hotel manager or restaurateur’s dream is an organically developed workforce of brand Ambassadors who are proud of their identity, their role in the workplace and interested in their guests’ well-being. Isn’t it?

Now imagine this same effect catapulted from an executive level, transferring their cultural knowledge and perspective from the top down to provide guests with appropriate services included in a strategic and concerted management policy? A win-win situation!

Importance of diversity in the hospitality and tourism industry

diversity in the hospitality and tourism industry

Lack of career opportunities and discrimination are some of the factors preventing minorities to climb the hospitality and tourism corporate ladder.

The United States Department of Commerce statistics estimated that a total of over 75 million tourists from different parts of the world visited the U.S. in 2014 with a total spending of $220 billion. The US dominates the global markets with a 15 percent share ahead of countries such as France and Spain.

Statistics also show that 8 million people are employed in the travel and tourism industry and the report further reported that 1.2 million of those jobs are linked directly and supported with international tourists. These statistics confirm just how diverse the workforce composition in the industry needs to be.

Certified Diversity Meeting Professionals Class of 2015 at Atlantic City, NJ

You might be interested: Travel industry presents booming opportunities for Hispanic meeting planners

Benefits of diversity in the hospitality and tourism industry

Workplace diversity in the hospitality and tourism industry is therefore a key factor in facilitating cultural exchange on a global level. Here are some benefits to expanding diversity into the management workforce:

  1. The industry presents a unique opportunity to learn new cultural experiences for both employees and tourists. Personnel needs to be trained in the respect and appreciation of differences to enhance the nature of their interactions with guests of varied cultures, religions, races, creeds, colors, ages, genders and sexual orientations.
  2. This cultural knowledge cannot be left in the hands of personnel who even with the best intentions, might not completely appreciate and accommodate people from around the world. Only individuals with a diverse background in higher management positions can design a corporate vision that not only facilitates understanding of different cultural and social behaviors but also enhances the delivery of satisfactory services through communication and observation.
  3. In such competitive environment, diversity at higher levels –which should be the most visible face of the corporation–also enables businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry to nurture and portray a positive image of inclusiveness –equal employment opportunities for all without regard to race, gender, age, nationality or any other diversity marker.
  4. Diversity in the hospitality and tourism industry is crucial. Recruitment from a talent pool also needs a clear vision into diversity. If employers in hospitality and tourism continue to carry a reputation for a lack of diversity at a senior level, talented employees from minority groups will be hesitant to enter the industry. People will certainly not gravitate towards organizations that have a track record of discrimination.
  5. Studies highlight that developing a diverse workforce at all levels can create a competitive advantage for a business, improving staff moral while increasing levels of worker retention. In the hospitality industry specifically, where customers are sourced from across the globe, a diverse workforce allows employees to bring a stronger cultural insight and understanding of the clients they are serving.
  6. With the staggering growth of social media, the hotel and tourism industry is one of the most exposed industries out there. Any detail or any complaint can go viral in a matter of minutes. Companies need to be prepared to deal with such type of reputation crisis which definitely hurts their branding efforts.
diversity in the hospitality and tourism industry

Jeffrey W. Montague, Associate Vice Dean, School of Tourism & Hospitality Management at Temple University.

“Acquiring diverse talent into the hospitality corporate market place initiates a few progressive thoughts: innovation and creativity from a much different cultural perspective; secondly, minority management talent will provide more of a cultural sensitivity perspective when managing a diverse work force,” said Jeffrey W. Montague, Associate Vice Dean, School of Tourism & Hospitality Management at Temple University.

The National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers (NABHOOD), the Hispanic Hotel Owners Association (HHOA), International Association of Hispanic Meeting Professionals (IAHMP) and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) are some of several organizations attempting to address this issue by linking people of color with hospitality company sponsors, industry representatives, hospitality organizations, advisors, and mentors to support the leadership pipeline for minorities in the industry.

The benefits of diversity in the hospitality and tourism industry including increased levels of employee retention, recruiting from a wider talent pool and developing a competitive advantage are all essential for any business. Subsequently, promoting diversity at board levels in the hospitality and tourism industry continues to be the treasure yet to be discovered.

 

diversity in the hospitality and tourism industry

From SKYFT (https://skift.com/2014/05/02/the-10-most-highly-compensated-hotels-ceos-of-2013/)

Luis Moreno Latino Chamber of Commerce of Minnesota Latino talent

5 Ways to leverage Latino talent in your organization to its full potential

Luis Moreno contributor Latino talent

Luis Moreno, VP of Marketing for Synchrony Financial and co-founder of The Twin Cities Business Peer Network

I’m so proud to introduce you to Luis Moreno, our newest contributor to LatinasinBusiness.us! Luis brings impeccable credentials as a Latino talent thought leader in the Financial and Business communities.

The VP of Marketing for Synchrony Financial, Luis is also the co-founder of The Twin Cities Business Peer Network, a 1,700-member organization that helps students and peers grow personally and professionally.

He was awarded NSHMBA MSP’s “Member of the Year” and has been named “Top National Champion of Diversity” by DiversityBusiness Magazine and “Top 100 Under 50 Executives and Emerging Leaders” by Diversity MBA Magazine.

Luis holds an MBA from the Carlson School of Management, is a Public Policy Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and is a member of the Young American Leaders Program at Harvard Business School. We are honored and grateful to have Luis on board!

Got Latino talent in your organization?

Among many other positive characteristics, Latinos are optimistic, enthusiastic, adaptable, and they grow up in highly relationship-based and collective environments. The culture is built around people and loyalty. Interpersonal skills play a big role in our culture. All of these characteristics and skills can be leveraged in any organization to improve results.

Luis Moreno Latino Chamber of Commerce of Minnesota Latino talent

L to R: Luis Moreno, Melisa Lopez Franzen, Gavin Hart, Ruth Elfering, Tomás Perez. Latino Chamber of Commerce of Minnesota Launch at Target Fields on February 10th, 2016. Photo courtesy of Luis Moreno.

  1. Latino talent and retention

Latinos can be very loyal if they feel valued in an organization so they can help your retention rate if they are working under favorable conditions and being acknowledged and valued.

They make great employees and team members as they take great pride in the work they do and place high value in earning the respect and appreciation of others. These tendencies will usually be a strong motivation for a Latino employee to want to go the extra mile at work.

2. Latino talent in management roles

As managers and supervisors, Latinos have a general tendency to be in-tune with people matters, given the high weight that the Latino culture places on people.

So, Latino managers and leaders will pay special attention to how employees are feeling, whether they are being acknowledged and recognized. They will also be in tune with employees in their team, and make sure they have the opportunity for flexibility to achieve work-life balance and be there for their families, the most important aspect for Latinos.

Christian Moreno, Melisa Lopez Franzen, Luis Moreno. Cross-Cultural Marketing event by the Twin Cities Business Peer Network on July 24, 2014. Photo courtesy of Luis Moreno. Latino talent

L to R: Christian Moreno, Melisa Lopez Franzen, Luis Moreno. Cross-Cultural Marketing event by the Twin Cities Business Peer Network on July 24, 2014. Photo courtesy of Luis Moreno.

3. The female Latino talent

Organizations that promote the development and growth of female leaders can find in Latinas great talent and potential. Latinas grow up in highly social environments, which help them develop strong social and communication skills.

Latinas are determined, considerate, and caring, as they play a strong role in the Latino family, home, and community, values that they leverage professionally in the organization.

So, not only having Latinas among the leaders of the organization will help with the organization’s goals and results, but it can also help improve moral, motivation, well-being, and the work-life style balance for employees in the organization.

4. Latino talent in conflict management

When it comes to managing conflict and resolving issues, because of Latino’s natural tendency to build strong personal relationships, such relationships can help in establishing and effectively managing any necessary communication to resolve concerns.

Since Latinos, in general, have a tendency to be cheerful and optimistic, they can help the organization when it comes to having to communicate bad news, because they will try to find an angle of the story to communicate optimism and hope, which can at least help members get and assimilate the unfortunate news more easily.

  1. Latino talent and partner relationship management

Latinos can also help with the organization’s relationship with partners. Leverage Latinos in your organization to help build relationships and trust faster with customers, vendors, and partners, as Latinos have a passion for people.

Go through your list of external partners and see if you have any customers, vendors, or partners from or with operations in Latin America. That can make those relationship-building even easier and faster, as often people tend to feel comfortable doing business and managing matters with people with whom they can more easily relate to, identify with, and with whom they can share some commonalities, such as culture, language, and experiences.

Latino Talent NSHMBAs

L to R: Luis Moreno, Yrma Cova, Dylan Moreno, Tomás Perez. National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) Annual Gala on December 4th, 2015. Photo courtesy of Luis Moreno.

Find the organizations that represent them

So, make sure you are leveraging the Latino talent in your organization to its full potential. You can have a treasure right there in your own team ready to be discovered! You can get valuable and useful information about Latinos, their contributions over time, and their benefits in the work place, through many great organizations in various fields which have been building a strong knowledge base and expertise and are happy to help you.

  • The National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA), recently rebranded as “Prospanica”. This fantastic organization has been in existence for 28 years, since its foundation in 1988. It has been working on increasing the number of Latinos graduating with MBA’s for over two decades. In 2015, NSHMBA extended its reach beyond the MBA community to undergraduate and high school-level students. They empower Latino professionals to achieve their full educational, economic and social potential. I am very proud to have been an active member for over 15 years.
  • In the STEM field, there is the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), founded in 1974 by a group of engineers employed by the city of Los Angeles. They have built a really strong national organization of professional engineers, which serve as role models in our Latino community. SHPE has a strong network of professional and student chapters throughout the country and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to partner with multiple of its members for great initiatives to support Latino Engineering students and professionals.
  • National Council of La Raza (NCLR), which was started in 1968 and whose great mission is to improve Latinos’ opportunities for success in achieving the American Dream. They provide research, policy analysis, and state and national advocacy efforts to serve millions of Latinos in the areas of civic engagement, civil rights and immigration, education, workforce and the economy, health, and housing.

Also, there are amazing organizations at the local level, which partner with national organizations and can be of great help. For example in the Midwest, there are really strong organizations supporting Latinos, such as Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES), Neighborhood House, LatinoLEAD, and many others.

If you have interest in learning about more ways to leverage the Latino talent in your organization and would like some ideas, perspectives, and suggestions, feel free to contact any of these organizations or let me know. I will be more than happy to share some perspectives, insights, and ideas with you. We welcome your comments!

 

Luis Moreno

Luis Moreno new contributor to LatinasinBusiness.us

Luis Moreno contributor Latino talent

Luis Moreno, VP of Marketing for Synchrony Financial and co-founder of The Twin Cities Business Peer Network

I’m so proud to introduce you to Luis Moreno, our newest contributor to LatinasinBusiness.us! Luis brings impeccable credentials as a Latino talent thought leader in the Financial and Business communities.

The VP of Marketing for Synchrony Financial, Luis is also the co-founder of The Twin Cities Business Peer Network, a 1,700-member organization that helps students and peers grow personally and professionally.

He was awarded NSHMBA MSP’s “Member of the Year” and has been named “Top National Champion of Diversity” by DiversityBusiness Magazine and “Top 100 Under 50 Executives and Emerging Leaders” by Diversity MBA Magazine.

Luis holds an MBA from the Carlson School of Management, is a Public Policy Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and is a member of the Young American Leaders Program at Harvard Business School. We are honored and grateful to have Luis on board!

Got Latino talent in your organization?

Among many other positive characteristics, Latinos are optimistic, enthusiastic, adaptable, and they grow up in highly relationship-based and collective environments. The culture is built around people and loyalty. Interpersonal skills play a big role in our culture. All of these characteristics and skills can be leveraged in any organization to improve results.

Luis Moreno Latino Chamber of Commerce of Minnesota Latino talent

L to R: Luis Moreno, Melisa Lopez Franzen, Gavin Hart, Ruth Elfering, Tomás Perez. Latino Chamber of Commerce of Minnesota Launch at Target Fields on February 10th, 2016. Photo courtesy of Luis Moreno.

  1. Latino talent and retention

Latinos can be very loyal if they feel valued in an organization so they can help your retention rate if they are working under favorable conditions and being acknowledged and valued.

They make great employees and team members as they take great pride in the work they do and place high value in earning the respect and appreciation of others. These tendencies will usually be a strong motivation for a Latino employee to want to go the extra mile at work.

2. Latino talent in management roles

As managers and supervisors, Latinos have a general tendency to be in-tune with people matters, given the high weight that the Latino culture places on people.

So, Latino managers and leaders will pay special attention to how employees are feeling, whether they are being acknowledged and recognized. They will also be in tune with employees on their team, and make sure they have the opportunity for flexibility to achieve work-life balance and be there for their families, the most important aspect for Latinos.

Christian Moreno, Melisa Lopez Franzen, Luis Moreno. Cross-Cultural Marketing event by the Twin Cities Business Peer Network on July 24, 2014. Photo courtesy of Luis Moreno. Latino talent

L to R: Christian Moreno, Melisa Lopez Franzen, Luis Moreno. Cross-Cultural Marketing event by the Twin Cities Business Peer Network on July 24, 2014. Photo courtesy of Luis Moreno.

3. The female Latino talent

Organizations that promote the development and growth of female leaders can find in Latinas great talent and potential. Latinas grow up in highly social environments, which help them develop strong social and communication skills.

Latinas are determined, considerate, and caring, as they play a strong role in the Latino family, home, and community, values that they leverage professionally in the organization.

So, not only having Latinas among the leaders of the organization will help with the organization’s goals and results, but it can also help improve morale, motivation, well-being, and the work-life style balance for employees in the organization.

4. Latino talent in conflict management

When it comes to managing conflict and resolving issues, because of Latino’s natural tendency to build strong personal relationships, such relationships can help in establishing and effectively managing any necessary communication to resolve concerns.

Since Latinos, in general, have a tendency to be cheerful and optimistic, they can help the organization when it comes to having to communicate bad news, because they will try to find an angle of the story to communicate optimism and hope, which can at least help members get and assimilate the unfortunate news more easily.

  1. Latino talent and partner relationship management

Latinos can also help with the organization’s relationship with partners. Leverage Latinos in your organization to help build relationships and trust faster with customers, vendors, and partners, as Latinos have a passion for people.

Go through your list of external partners and see if you have any customers, vendors, or partners from or with operations in Latin America. That can make those relationship-building even easier and faster, as often people tend to feel comfortable doing business and managing matters with people with whom they can more easily relate to, identify with, and with whom they can share some commonalities, such as culture, language, and experiences.

Latino Talent NSHMBAs

L to R: Luis Moreno, Yrma Cova, Dylan Moreno, Tomás Perez. National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) Annual Gala on December 4th, 2015. Photo courtesy of Luis Moreno.

Find the organizations that represent them

So, make sure you are leveraging the Latino talent in your organization to its full potential. You can have a treasure right there in your own team ready to be discovered! You can get valuable and useful information about Latinos, their contributions over time, and their benefits in the work place, through many great organizations in various fields which have been building a strong knowledge base and expertise and are happy to help you.

  • The National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA), recently rebranded as “Prospanica”. This fantastic organization has been in existence for 28 years, since its foundation in 1988. It has been working on increasing the number of Latinos graduating with MBA’s for over two decades. In 2015, NSHMBA extended its reach beyond the MBA community to undergraduate and high school-level students. They empower Latino professionals to achieve their full educational, economic and social potential. I am very proud to have been an active member for over 15 years.
  • In the STEM field, there is the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), founded in 1974 by a group of engineers employed by the city of Los Angeles. They have built a really strong national organization of professional engineers, which serve as role models in our Latino community. SHPE has a strong network of professional and student chapters throughout the country and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to partner with multiple of its members for great initiatives to support Latino Engineering students and professionals.
  • National Council of La Raza (NCLR), which was started in 1968 and whose great mission is to improve Latinos’ opportunities for success in achieving the American Dream. They provide research, policy analysis, and state and national advocacy efforts to serve millions of Latinos in the areas of civic engagement, civil rights and immigration, education, workforce and the economy, health, and housing.

Also, there are amazing organizations at the local level, which partner with national organizations and can be of great help. For example in the Midwest, there are really strong organizations supporting Latinos, such as Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES), Neighborhood House, LatinoLEAD, and many others.

If you have interest in learning about more ways to leverage the Latino talent in your organization and would like some ideas, perspectives, and suggestions, feel free to contact any of these organizations or let me know. I will be more than happy to share some perspectives, insights, and ideas with you. We welcome your comments!