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Let’s not just ‘talk’ about it: reflections on women’s career development in hospitality

Let’s not just ‘talk’ about it: reflections on women’s career development in hospitality

Gebbels, Maria ORCID: 0000-0001-9623-2655, Gao, Xiongbin and Cai, Wenjie ORCID: 0000-0002-1505-7240 (2020) Let’s not just ‘talk’ about it: reflections on women’s career development in hospitality. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 32 (11). pp. 3623-3643. ISSN 0959-6119 (doi:

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This article aims to provide an action-orientated reflection for promoting gender equality in hospitality, based on Bradley’s (2013) approach that considers the operation of gender in the “production” and “reproduction” spheres of social life. To that end, it reflects on women’s career development in hospitality based on the Western perspective.

A two-stage thematic analysis of a public research seminar on gender issues in tourism and hospitality were employed to explore issues of women’s career development within the intertwining spheres of “production” and “reproduction”.

Three themes, namely culture of an open dialogue, bringing men into the equation, and educating the future workforce emerged from data to propose new insights on “what can be done” about gender equality in tourism and hospitality, including practical suggestions for transformations of gender relations in organisations.

This paper contributes new knowledge on women’s career development in the hospitality industry by proposing recommendations to address gender gaps including fostering a culture of an open dialogue based on an inclusive listening environment, recommending changes to organisational policies and culture, and integrating the subject of gender into tourism and hospitality curriculum.

By proposing a sociological perspective of gender in hospitality employment informed by Bradley (2013), this study challenges traditional masculinity and the long-standing gender labour division through education, organisational and daily practices thus tackling fundamental gender issues.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ‘Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited. Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited. This AAM is provided for your own personal use only. It may not be used for resale, reprinting, systematic distribution, emailing, or for any other commercial purpose without the permission of the publisher.’
Uncontrolled Keywords: career development, gender, gender practices, hospitality, production, reproduction
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Marketing, Events & Tourism
Faculty of Business > Tourism Research Centre
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2022 15:00

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