The Castell Project, a non-profit dedicated toward promoting the careers of women in the hotel industry, is now taking nominations for its leadership programs: ELEVATE, aimed at more experienced executives, and BUILD for newer leaders.

THE CHANGING NEEDS of female professionals in the hospitality industry have led the non-profit Castell Project to expand the leadership programs it offers those women to help them advance their careers. The project also is accepting nominations for its 2020 Castell Leadership Programs.

The Castell Project has been in operation for four years now. It released its Women Speakers in Hospitality (WSH) list in August and in March launched its “Ladder Up” campaign to raise $1 million to support programs that help women advance their careers.

It’s core mission, however, remains its education and networking program for women hospitality executives.

“We have expanded our educational offerings to respond to the changing needs of our participants,” said Peggy Berg, president and founder of the Castell Project. “We find that participant needs vary depending on where each woman is in her career arc. With that in mind, we created ‘BUILD’ for emerging female hospitality industry leaders and ‘ELEVATE’ for established female leaders ready to refine their skillsets and prime themselves for top roles.”

The ELEVATE Program runs April 2020 through March 2021, with an on-site practicum May 3-5, 2020. Candidates must have at least 12 years of progressively responsible professional work experience culminating with at least two years as vice-president or higher, or equivalent responsibility. They can include general managers of single or multi-unit upscale and luxury properties and business owners. They must have experience managing teams of employees, have budget accountability and be identified by their sponsors as a high-potential leader with a strong drive to reach the top levels in their organization.

The BUILD Program runs through the same time period as ELEVATE, but with an on-site practicum May 4-6.  The program targets emerging leaders who are mid-level senior managers, directors, senior directors, newly appointed vice presidents and/or general managers of mid-scale hotel properties. ELEVATE candidates also must have five years of progressively responsible work experience leading others and having budget accountability and must be identified by their sponsors as high-potential leaders.

Both leadership programs include individual career plans for the participants, assessments, workshops, executive coaching and membership in the Women in Lodging Leadership Network. The programs will be tailored to meet leadership requirements at the two levels of career advancement.

Heather McCrory

Interested participants are sponsored by their companies and nominated by a champion from their firm who must submit an application. The programs are exclusively for women in the hospitality industry,  including operations, franchises, finance or advisory services.

In September, Heather McCrory, CEO of AccorHotels North and Central America, became the first winner of the Castell Award from the Castell Project. McCrory participated in a Q&A for the February issue of Asian Hospitality’s special publication Priya about the significance of receiving the Castell Award.