McLean, VA (January 31, 2024) – The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Foundation, in partnership with Women in Travel THRIVE, is proud to announce the release of a pivotal research paper titled “The Power of Mentorship.” Authored by Dr. Emily Ma, Professor of Hospitality at the University of Surrey, and Dr. Laurie Wu, Associate Professor at Temple University, this paper is a cornerstone in HSMAI’s ongoing efforts to address the gender imbalance in leadership roles within the hospitality industry.

As part of HSMAI’s commitment to developing talent, this research provides valuable insights into the role of mentorships in empowering and advancing women in our field. The findings underscore the necessity of mentorship as a key tool in nurturing the next generation of female leaders, ensuring their retention, and promoting their success in the hospitality sector.

Silvia Camarota, executive director and founding chair of Women in Travel THRIVE says: “Through the collaborative efforts of HSMAI Foundation and Women in Travel THRIVE, our joint research emphasizes the transformative impact of mentorship on fostering and empowering female leaders in the hospitality industry. This partnership underscores our commitment to bridging the gender gap and nurturing a diverse, inclusive leadership landscape within our field.”

The HSMAI Foundation and Women in Travel THRIVE are excited to share this research with the industry and the broader community. “We believe this paper will be a catalyst for growth, encouraging organizations to adopt more inclusive and supportive practices for women,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, president and CEO, HSMAI. “By focusing on attracting diverse talent, creating through supportive networks, and promoting mentorship and leadership opportunities, we are setting the stage for transformative years ahead.”

The full research paper is available here. For more information on the HSMAI Foundation and its initiatives, please visit