COLUMBUS, OH—Building on its continued success in fostering a strong environment in which women can thrive, Red Roof®, the leader in Upscale Economy® lodging, hosted its Forum on Leadership for Women Entrepreneurs on May 24th and 25th in Austin, Texas.
Designed to help women in hospitality develop deeper business acumen and stronger leadership skills, leaders from across the industry gathered to help Red Roof celebrate progress that includes 31% of its hotels owned or partially owned by women. Additionally, as women continue to progress in management ranks, there has been a 20-percent increase in women leadership at Red Roof over the past three years. Fueled by the vision and passion of Chief Marketing Officer Marina MacDonald, Red Roof has been industry-leading in bringing together women to collaborate, educate and provide the tools and insights to help drive continued growth and support.
“The past two years have been challenging, especially for women, and the impact the pandemic had on travel and hospitality exacerbated the pressure felt by women in our industry. As women juggle work lives and home lives, there really is no such thing as work/life balance. Rather, there are work/life choices that women are forced to make every day,” said Marina MacDonald. “I designed this hybrid professional/personal event to help our attendees further develop their business and leadership skills, as well as the tools to take better care of themselves, so that we will not only help grow more successful and happy women entrepreneurs, but we will also encourage the development of sustainable habits that will lead to a lifetime of success.”
This year, the Forum hosted more than 100 women attendees over two days, including Red Roof franchise owners, industry leaders and corporate team members all looking to collaborate and help one another overcome barriers to success. During the Forum, attendees had the opportunity to network, learn from and support each other, and hear from inspirational and industry-leading experts – including Dr. Lalia Rach, Founder & Partner, Rach Enterprises; Mary Beth Cutshall, Founder & Managing Partner, Amara Capital; Regan Walsh, Chief Renegade Officer, Renegade Global; and Laura Lee Blake, President and CEO, Asian American Hotel Owners Association – who shared their journeys and challenges reaching the highest levels of their fields, and shared advice on how to smash glass ceilings. Breakout sessions included topics such as side hustles – which have become increasingly popular since the pandemic – the characteristics of successful women, tips on public speaking and networking and the power and enrichment of giving back through community involvement.
The top advice for women advancement included the following tips:
- Be h Have a voice.
- Be authentic and be YOU.
- Be fearless, bold and b Take risks.
- Tout successes with c
- Stay true to your values, vision and p
- Be comfortable being uncomfortable.
Recent research shows the hospitality industry is slowly making progress toward women in leadership, and statistics paint a picture trending toward increased diversity going forward. According to the 2022 Castell Project ‘Women in Hospitality Industry Leadership’ report, women are gaining in hotel company leadership at the highest levels (CEO, President, and Founder). In fact, although still skewed, women now hold one leadership spot for every 10.3 men, an improvement from one to 11.2 in 2019. At the manager and director levels, women now hold one in two hospitality positions, and one in six at the VP/SVP/EVP level. However, there is more work to do.
Red Roof will continue to lead the industry in supporting women by nurturing networking and providing opportunities and tools needed to reach the highest levels in the hospitality industry.