CHENNAI: Global hospitality major Hilton, which is working on a 1:1 workforce ratio of men and women to ensure gender equality, has already broken a glass ceiling even before it has rolled out it services. Set to open in Lucknow, the US-based luxury hotel chain has set a target to have females take up 35 per cent of their team members.
“We are well on track to reaching our goal in Hilton Garden Inn Lucknow hotel, Pune, which is due to open by December 2017, as currently 30 per cent of our team members are filled by female members and we are still recruiting,” said Brendan Toomey, vice-president (HR) Asia-Pacific for Hilton. While the industry average is 11 per cent, Hilton claims participation of females is 13 per cent of its workforce in India.
Reinforcing its commitment to diversity and inclusion at workplace, Hilton has organised a two-day conference to educate both men and women about the wide range of career opportunities offered in the industry. The conference was attended by over 200 students from IHM Chennai, SRM University and YWCA, a few NGO representatives as well as team members from Hilton.
“The endeavour,” Toomey asserted “is to create an environment of diversity and inclusion by ensuring an offering of a platform of growth opportunities for our female associates across levels and help them explore their future journey.”
The hotel chain aims to develop women in leadership — from sales and marketing to front office and other new roles emerging as a result of automation — through these programmes. On investment in new properties, he said it will be mostly in training, expertise, network and reservation system as the hotels will not be owned by Hilton.
It is also investing heavily on digital innovations such as simplifying the recruiting process and infusion of AI based chatbots, using bluetooth to unlock the door and also track any order online sitting back at room. Meanwhile, the chain is also exploring opportunities in locations such as Goa, Ahmedabad and Mumbai.