By Frances Kiradjian

Many of you know my passions include helping the underdogs of the hospitality industry. Before the formation of BLLA, the list of underdogs included boutique hotels, and once upon a time, women. Women have made leaps and bounds as a demographic in every single industry in existence. Hospitality is no exception. While only 32 of the Fortune 500 CEOs in 2017 were women, this is an increase from the 21 women who were included the year before. While not an impressive ratio it does show the forward movement of women in the business sector I have long been a champion of.

At our annual Executive Women’s Conference this past March, I touched on the initiative of 20 by 20, a group aiming to populate the boards of US companies with at least 20% women by the year 2020. Their diligent research shows companies with more diverse leadership have more longevity and success.

I expand on the topic in a recent Forbes publication: "Research shows this to be true: A recent analysis from 2020 Women on Boards found 55% of companies that fell off the Fortune 1000 index had one or zero women on their boards. An analysis from Harvard's School of Public Health ranked Fortune 500 companies by number of women directors present on their boards and found those in the highest quartile had a 42% greater return on sales."

Read more on the initiatives of Women on Boards, and my in-depth analysis by reading the full article here.

What are you doing to diversify?