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March Minute

Jeff Beck, President

In this month’s column, I would like to call everyone’s attention to the fact that March is National Women’s History month. During the month of March, a little extra attention is given to all of the accomplishments of strong, determined women. The United States has formally recognized March as National Women’s History Month since 1987. International Women’s Day is March 8th. Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist once explained "The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights."  The theme for International Women’s Day 2020 is, I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights. The theme is aligned with the United Nations Women’s new multigenerational campaign, Generation Equality, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The Beijing Platform for Action is recognized as the most progressive roadmap for the empowerment of women and girls, everywhere.

            For those of you who are members of the HOSCO network, you will find resources available to use in your classroom to discuss this topic. The week of March 8th would be the ideal time to speak on gender equality, women in hospitality leadership, and the disparity of pay in the hospitality industry. Peggy Berg, Founder and President of the Castell Project (and a proud Michigan State alumna) is dedicated to helping the hospitality industry benefit fully from women in the workforce and to providing women in hospitality with tools to support their advancement. The Castell project’s most recent report, Women in Hospitality Leadership 2020 suggests that executive search specialists report that companies are showing stronger consideration of female candidates (https://www.castellproject.org/castell-research). Peggy has been invited to be one of our highlighted speakers at the ICHRIE conference in Phoenix.

            A quick review of the literature suggests that there is a tremendous opportunity for research in the area of gender equality. In a recent volume of the International Journal of Hospitality Management, Segovia-Pérez, Figueroa-Domecq, Fuentes-Moraleda, and Muñoz-Mazón (2019) as part of their study on gender equality in hospitality, offer suggestions for future research in this area. First, collection of information regarding men’s perspective on gender equality in hospitality would provide a more comprehensive picture of the situation in the hospitality industry. Second, perceptions of the hospitality industry and the impact of segregation from a large sample of women and men would provide a distinctive perspective and add to the literature of understanding on these issues. These authors suggest that one line of research would be to analyze how effective equality plans are at delivering gender equality. A comparison of sectors, regions or countries would help to determine the validity of the theoretical model used in their research and its applicability across all production sectors and locations. If not already proposed or planned a special edition focusing on these issues would certainly be a logical next step.

            As I am writing this, the U.S. Department of State has issued a ban on travel to China, Hong Kong, and Macau. Most commercial air carriers have reduced or suspended routes to and from China. Other countries have enacted bans as well. This ban is in effect until April 30, 2020. We hope to keep all ICHRIE members informed with regular updates from the Asia Pacific Federation regarding the APAC CHRIE conference the end of May.

            As always, thank you for being a member of ICHRIE!

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