Trailblazing for Women in the Hospitality Workforce

Did you know that a 2017 study revealed the hospitality industry is lagging in developing its women at every level of management, compared to other industries on the S&P 500 and S&P 500 Finance?

To combat this, Unidine’s very own trailblazer, Victoria Vega, VP of Food Operations and President of the Board of Directors for the Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management, is taking a stand. In a recent interview with Thrillist, Vega noted, “It is well-known that a diverse workforce is a more productive, idea-generating workforce that breeds successful organizations, and every company should be striving to achieve that in 2018.”

When Victoria first entered the hospitality industry in the 80s, leadership roles for women were scarce. “Kitchens were male-dominated and there was a lack of women representation and leadership, and opportunities were scarce,” she says. But while progress has been made in the past 30 years, there’s still a ways to go.

“The executive ranks within the hospitality industry don’t mirror the diverse workforce that exists today,” says Victoria. In fact, men account for just 40% of employees in the hospitality industry, yet they are twice as likely to be promoted to an SVP, VP, or District Manager level than their female counterparts, who also happen to make up nearly 60% of the industry.

To help combat this reality, Victoria uses her influence to mentor other young women in the industry, co-chairing Unidine’s Women’s Leadership Networking Group. Efforts like these from industry veterans are helping to turn the tide at Unidine and elsewhere, and seem to be paying off. The same 2017 study notes nearly 85% of men and 70% of women agreed that “women entering hospitality companies today will have more opportunities for upward movement into top executive positions than have past generations.”

To learn more about Victoria, and other women working to transform the industry, check out Thrillist’s article here.