(20 July 2021) IHG Hotels & Resorts has strengthened its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) by investing further in female leaders in Thailand – with 45% of General Manager roles now held by women.
Globally, 38% of the company’s senior leaders are women.
Kate Gerits, Regional General Manager, Thailand Central and South and General Manager of Holiday Inn Pattaya, explained: “The beauty of the travel and hospitality industry is that we have the opportunity to work in different countries and experience a very diverse workplace, with employees and guests from all over the world. This brings about a culture that values and celebrates differences. We have female leaders across our hotels with varied skillsets and experiences, and that’s fantastic as they’re the type of role models who inspire the next generation of leaders.”
IHG has implemented a host of initiatives to support its female leaders, including RISE, a 12-month global mentoring programme that aims to increase the number of women in General Manager and other senior positions.
RISE participants get access to a dedicated mentor and sponsor matched to their needs and expertise, have access to learning modules, career development workshops and have the opportunity to lead a Lean In circle in their hotel.
Some 50% of participants in South East Asia and Korea have advanced into a new opportunity with some moving into General Manager roles.
Juthamas Sakulpisut (Judy), RISE graduate and mentor and General Manager of Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Sukhumvit 11, said, “My advice to aspiring female leaders is to never doubt yourself and always believe you are capable of so much more. Take risks and go for it. IHG’s initiatives such as RISE provide aspiring female leaders with great support in the form of a dedicated mentor to provide guidance, and a sponsor to advocate career growth and success. The senior leadership team at IHG continually challenges me, gives me confidence in my roles and supports my career aspirations and, as a RISE mentor, I now support young women to achieve their goals and dreams, too.”
IHG’s other DE&I initiatives include conscious inclusion training for its corporate teams and hotel General Managers, and a global network of local DE&I councils, which represent its regions and markets through giving its people a voice and providing them with advice, direction and support.
Nattareutai Thanapoomikul (Aimmy), South East Asia & Korea DE&I Council Member and pre-opening General Manager of Holiday Inn Resort Samui Bophut, said, “Being a woman in hospitality has its challenges, but thankfully IHG provides dedicated opportunities through which we can bring out the best in ourselves. These include the RISE programme, Lean-In Circle – which encourages women to meet in small groups – and our DE&I councils. These initiatives have nurtured my leadership capabilities and allowed me to achieve my dream to become a successful leader. As a member of the South East Asia and Korea DE&I council, I can impact change, and I want to inspire others to do more and become the best versions of themselves they can be. IHG is definitely the right place to pursue our dreams.”
With a family of 16 hotel brands, IHG has nearly 6,000 open hotels in more than 100 countries, and a further 1,800 in the development pipeline.