WOMEN STILL FACE obstacles to their careers in the hospitality industry on several levels. A new program from Wyndham Hotels & Resorts aims to knock those obstacles down.
Wyndham’s “Women Own the Room” program offers participants financial solutions, personalized operational guidance and support and opportunities for networking and education.
“As the hotel industry resets and recovers from one of the most difficult periods in its history, we all have a unique opportunity to help advance and champion diversity in hospitality to help our industry prosper. At Wyndham – where diversity, equity, and inclusion are key cornerstones of our culture – we recognize the chance to do our part by helping to open more doors for women in our industry,” said Chip Ohlsson, Wyndham’s chief development officer.
This fall, Wyndham will launch a series of events with topics to include:
- Why women should get into hotel development now
- How to select sites and perform feasibility assessments
- Guidance and tips on securing financing for your hotel
- Personal stories of female hotel developers
“Wyndham is also committed to helping female owners secure financing through our network of debt and equity partners and will continue to explore and implement new and creative ways to support female hoteliers through the use of our balance sheet,” said Michele Allen, Wyndham’s chief financial officer.
Wyndham also is launching a development incentive program that will provide project financing as well as complimentary or expanded first-year operating services to support the success of hotels developed by women.
“Introducing more women entrepreneurs to hotel ownership is great for women, and great for our industry,” said Rosanna Maietta, president and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Foundation, which is supporting the Women Own the Room initiative. “Our industry is stronger with a variety of people that bring varying backgrounds and points of view. Programs like this move the industry forward.”
For the third year in a row, Wyndham received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Index. It also was recognized by DiversityInc for two consecutive years for its commitment to diversity and inclusion. Wyndham works with other organizations that support women in the industry as well, such as The Castell Project, a non-profit mentorship and networking program, and She Has A Deal, a contest that features a path to hotel ownership as a prize, which together recently launched Fortuna’s Table, an online community for potential hotel owners, said Krishna Paliwal, Wyndham’s president of La Quinta and head of architecture, design, and construction
“Our team has consistently been in touch with the different organizations which are working hard in the fields of inclusivity and in the field of bringing these different people in our industry,” Paliwal said. “Our goal will be to continue to partner with them and bring more and more women to our industry and provide these supports which I mentioned earlier, so that they are being extremely successful in the hotel industry.”