ACCOR teams across Asia have been urged to double their commitment to gender equality and support for campaigns to end violence against women.
The hotel group issued a commitment yesterday – on International Women’s Day – to ensure that 45 per cent of its leadership team are women with more hotel general manager opportunities for women.
Accor also signed the Coalition Ending Gender-based Violence and is organising a conference highlighting the impact of gender-based violence and raise awareness among Accor employees worldwide of barriers against equality.
Speakers will include Kalliopi Mingeirou, UN Women Chief, Ending Violence against Women and Girls; Geraldine Grace da Fonseca da Justa, director of Brazil’s Department for Policies to Combat Violence Against Women, and Sohini Bhattacharya, president and CEO of Breakthrough India.
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“I have asked our teams across SE Asia, Japan & South Korea to double down on their efforts to ensure women are offered equal opportunities across all levels of the business and we will particularly focus on fostering more female General Managers across the hub,” said Garth Simmons, Accor’s CEO for those regions.
Simmons acknowledges that while his leadership committee is gender balanced, more needs to be done to ensure equal representation of women across the group.
While women make up 40.5 per cent of staff at hotel level, they represent only 14 per cent of hotel general managers, an Accor spokesperson said.
In terms of corporate offices, 57.5 per cent of staff are women and 56.4 per cent of middle managers are women, showing a “strong pipeline of women through the organisation at a corporate level”, Accor added.
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The group said, however, that further action would be taken to encourage more women to take up the role of general manager at a hotel level.
“We are at a pivotal moment in history, with the #MeToo movement showing the prevalence of harassment and violence against women, and the best way to combat this is to ensure we have equal representation of women in positions of leadership across the workplace and the community,” said Simmons.
“I am proud to say that my executive committee consists of five women and six men and I have always believed that gender equity leads to a richness of ideas and greater collaboration and performance.
“As the father of two daughters, I want to make sure they grow up in a world where everyone is treated with dignity and respect and offered equal access to opportunities.
“Working across 12 countries in Asia, I have seen first-hand how poverty and inaccessibility can foster gender-based inequality and I am deeply committed to creating an environment where we can bring about real change. In particular, we must promote and mentor women and engage in community projects that provide support and education to disadvantaged women and girls.”
Since 2012, Accor has put in place a women’s support and mentoring network, now called RiiSE, which promotes diversity as a means of driving collective performance. RiiSE engages women and men in the group to work together, using mentoring, training, education and conferences to fight stereotypes and violence against women and promote diversity and inclusion.