International Women’s Day is March 8, and for years the focus of this column, The Great Life, has been on travel. I’ve been covering the hotel and destination industry for as long as I can remember, so it seemed fitting to take this occasion celebrate the accomplishments of the many talented women working, often behind the scenes, in this crazy business we all love.
So, today I have turned to an expert on the topic, Emily Kanders Goldfischer. I’ve known Emily for more than two decades, since back to when she was a Vice President at Loews Hotels in New York. A graduate of the prestigious Cornell Nolan School of Hotel Administration and self-professed “hotel nerd,” today she lives in London and is the founder of hertelier, a new platform she launched in the midst of the pandemic, with the hope of inciting a movement to inform, connect and empower women to lead the hotel industry as it is building back after an unprecedented battering by COVID-19. She explained that despite making up more than 50% of the lodging workforce, women are still grossly underrepresented in the top management of hotels, but that discernible change is happening. To facilitate this, she created hertelier as a space for women to learn, share and lead the industry.
“The start of 2021 was definitely a low point, the year began without a vaccine and travel was in free fall. Women, in particular, were bearing the brunt of the pandemic with added pressures of childcare and homeschooling,” said Goldfischer. “But with all the upheaval, I thought there might be an opportunity for women to help each other and help the industry recover.”