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The Castell Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the careers of women professionals in the hospitality industry, released its “Black Representation in Hospitality Leadership 2020” report.

Three analysts captured information from the websites of hotel companies listed in the STR Directory of Hotel & Lodging Companies. Each website was reviewed twice, and LinkedIn was used to verify some entries. Identification was made by visual inspection, and self-identification could vary. Data includes 630 hotel companies drawn from 971 companies that are based in the U.S. or Canada. The sample set has a minimum of five hotels and/or 700 rooms. The dataset includes 6,302 people.

Highlights of the report include:

  • 84 percent of the 630 hotel company websites reviewed for this study do not show any Black executives on their websites, while only 102, or 16 percent, showed a Black employee at the director level or above.
  • Black executives represent 1.5 percent of hospitality industry executives at the director level or above on company websites, which is 12.5 times below their proportionate share of hospitality industry employment.
  • Compared to the hospitality industry, which shows 1.5 percent of executive roles being held by Black people, Korn Ferry reports that they hold 5 percent of executive positions across all industries and 4 percent of executive positions at S&P 500 companies.

“Diversity in leadership has not been a high priority for the hospitality industry,” says Peggy Berg, chair, Castell Project, Inc. “With attention now, however, it can shape the future. This means being mindful of the post-coronavirus racial makeup of organizations and implementing best practices modeled by leading companies that have successfully diversified leadership across the economy.”

The document reflects the industry prior to the ongoing pandemic. Castell Project plans to release an updated report in January to show the impact on Black representation as the industry rehires.

Photo: Courtesy of Castell Project


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