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Women in the Hospitality Industry: Does the Glass Ceiling Really Exist?

July 17, 2012 - While the concept of the glass ceiling has been around for decades, tremendous strides have been made to advance women into more prominent leadership roles. However, the number of women at the top of an organization drops off precipitously the further up the organizational chart one climbs. Why is this case? Are the reasons societal, biological, psychological? Is the concept of a "glass ceiling" really applicable in today's world?

HVS Executive Search explores this subject with Aly Shariff, Managing Director of Premier Inn India in an exclusive interview filmed during the HICSA conference in Mumbai earlier this year.

To watch video interview, please click on image
Tatiana Veller, Managing Director HVS Executive Search Moscow in
conversation with Aly Shariff, Managing Director of Premier Inn India

Veering away from stock answers about societal expectations of working mothers Aly admits that "Sometimes it is much more difficult for women to be taken seriously in the work place." Aly also discusses the challenges women face in reintegrating back into the work place after taking breaks to have children.

With only 20% of the senior positions at Premier Inn India belonging to women, Aly speaks of the challenges he faces when employing women at the property-level due to the cultural barriers still prevalent in significant parts of the country today.

Speaking on the potential quota for women in the EU boardrooms, Aly says that such initiative should be seen as positive. "We have to accept that we're not getting there fast enough and a little helping hand would be best. This isn't about being patronising or giving women a leg up, this is just about giving women the opportunity to shine," he said.

And what is his piece of advice for women entering the workplace today? Watch the interview here to find out more.

About HVS Executive Search
HVS Executive Search is the premier executive search and advisory firm providing consulting services to leaders of the hotel, restaurant, gaming and real estate industries. Practice areas include senior-level executive search, mid-management recruitment, compensation consulting and performance management. Our offices are located in New York, London, Hong Kong, Moscow, Mumbai and New Delhi. HVS Executive Search is a division of HVS, a fully integrated consulting firm focused on the hospitality industry. Founded in 1980, HVS is the world's leading specialist in hospitality consulting. With 30 offices globally, HVS offers unparalleled worldwide market expertise.

Pooja Vir


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Also See: HVS Executive Search Presents Top-Performing CEO Award to Monty J. Bennett Of Ashford Hospitality Trust; Top-Performing Board Awarded to Sunstone Hotel Investors / June 2012

HVS Executive Search Presents Top-Performing CEO Award to Mark S. Hoplamazian of Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Top-Performing Board to LaSalle Hotel Properties / June 2011

HVS Executive Search presents Top-Performing CEO Award to Jeffery Boyd of and Stephen Holmes of Wyndham Worldwide & Top-Performing Board Award to Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. / June 2010

HVS International Honors the Board of Directors of Four Seasons Hotels Corp. and Hilton's Steve Bollenbach with Lodging Leadership Awards / June 2006

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