Heather McCrory, CEO of AccorHotels North and Central America, was the first winner of the Castell Award from the Castell Project. The Project is now accepting nominations for the 2020 Castell Award.

THE CASTELL PROJECT, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the careers of women in the hospitality industry, is now accepting nominations for its second annual Castell Award. The award recognizes a woman in the industry who meets specific criteria for advancing the cause of female hotel executives.

The winner of the Castell Award is selected based on whether they exhibit four characteristics. As a change-maker, they must lead strategic improvement programs for their organization. As a trailblazer, they must open new paths in the industry. They must create opportunities for women as a gender equity-champion, and they must be a principled professional who demonstrates ethical business conduct.

“Women will one-day hold one in every three leadership seats in the hospitality industry and the Castell Award provides public recognition for the remarkable females leading the way and inspiring us all,” said Peggy Berg, president and founder of the Castell Project.  “We invite men and women at all levels in the industry to nominate a woman leader or woman who inspires them. The Castell Award recognizes their work and encourages other women who will follow.”

Women held 8 percent of hospitality industry leadership positions in 2019, according to the Castell Project’s third annual Women in Hospitality Industry Leadership report released in February. That includes managing director, president, partner, principal and CEO.

The award will be presented at this year’s Lodging Conference held in Phoenix at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in September.  The winner will receive a handcrafted award acknowledging their leadership.

The inaugural 2019 award was presented to Heather McCrory, CEO for North and Central America at ACCOR. Her selection came in part because of her work as executive sponsor for Accor’s international RiiSE network to promote diversity, launched one year ago.

“Heather stood out as a powerful female making a difference in the industry,” Berg said at the time. “She understands wholeheartedly that as part of an international hospitality company, a more diverse team is a better performing team. Heather is an inspiration to other women as they find their own paths to success.”

Nominations for the award can be made at https://surveys.str.com/s3/Castell-Award-Nomination-Form. Deadline for submissions is March 15.