HSMAI PERSPECTIVE: Cultivating an Environment of Inclusion

By Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, President and CEO, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) 

Over the past few years, one of the main focuses of the HSMAI Foundation has been to strengthen the talent pipeline to ensure the industry has the top sales, marketing, and revenue optimization professionals it needs to grow and thrive. Elevating the overall caliber and performance of these professionals is a critical piece of our mission, and we are constantly striving to provide the resources that drive our membership forward and encourage inventive and inclusive approaches to leadership. 

As we near the end of March and the end of Women’s History Month, I’m reminded of our constant need to ensure the amplification of diverse voices and experiences within our sales, marketing, and revenue optimization teams. As our HSMAI Foundation State of Talent report points out, this is more important now than ever before — a people-first corporate culture and organizational values are necessary to attracting and retaining diverse talent.  

As we all recognized the remarkable achievements of women in the world and in our industry this month, consider this McKinsey statistic, featured in the Castell Project’s Women in Hospitality Industry Leadership 2022 report: “One in three women has considered leaving the workforce or downshifting their careers — a significant increase from one in four in the first few months of the pandemic.” Burnout, among other challenges, has continued to be an issue. The good news, though, is that, according to the report, more women are coming into senior executive roles in hospitality. There is still work to be done, though, and these are factors we should continue to think about as we determine our best approach to tackling the challenges regarding talent. 

Important to our drive toward inclusivity and belonging, HSMAI has adopted a code of conduct for future conferences and other events, developed by Castell Project. We are committed to the comfort and safety of all event attendees and encourage everyone to continue to uphold our standards of professionalism and ethics as we get back into the routine of travel and meeting in person. 

The HSMAI Foundation also signed a memo of understanding with Women in Travel Thrive and will be commissioning a research project with them in 2022.  We look forward to partnering with these organizations and others in the future to foster an environment where anyone can thrive, specifically in a career as a hospitality sales, marketing, or revenue professional. 

Corporate and individual donations to support the HSMAI Foundation are welcome anytime at https://global.hsmai.org/foundation/support-the-hsmai-foundation/. 

Categories: Marketing
Insight Type: Articles