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Gender Discrimination in Hotels

If we were asked to think of the hostile environment for women in the workplace, many of us, initially, would envision blatant employment discrimination, more-so sexual harassment. Despite living in the new age, where such behavior is denounced and illegal, these associations are in no way surprising. Mis-organizational conduct is far too familiar ground to us all. In fact, statistics from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission show that “there has been no systematic decline over the past 12years in the number of discrimination lawsuits filed or the amount of monetary damages to the plaintiffs of these suits.

However, not all forms of discrimination generate much attention. Evidence has proved that gender discrimination is less visible. In recent studies, it was revealed that a vast number of women in high-level positions in firms strongly believe that social exclusion not only overt discrimination but in turn too is a barrier to women’s’ advancement in their careers. Exclusion from informal networks of communication, inhospitable corporate culture and lack of mentoring are less biased examples that further demonstrate the subtle barriers women face.

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To further advance this argument, a larger percentage of men were significantly less likely than women to believe that any of these factors hindered women’s’ advancements in their firms. Gender discrimination in Hotels. {Front Office Department} As Hotels are our main area of focus in this study, we shall take a more elaborate out-look on how discrimination is pronounced in the Front Office. Although this is a subject many refuse to acknowledge it is very dominant in the industry.

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There is an irreconcilable difference between perceptions of what it takes to succeed in various work environments and the attributes that females are presumed to have. One of the main focuses of gender discrimination in the Front Office is mainly stereotypical. By this, many of the factors that mediate in hiring are based on characteristics of an individual and how they match the stereotype profile of Front Office personnel. Jobs tend to be gender based, by virtue of both the number of females versus males and the attributes deemed necessary for performance.

Statistically represented, either sex will highly represent many organizational roles and occupational categories. This theory is incorporated in Heilman’s “Lack of Fit model of Gender Discrimination”. It thus mirrors, that typically male dominated jobs are perceived as requiring traditionally masculine characteristics; and vice-versa being equally correct . There is a distinct trend in how staff is selected; usually more feminine individuals are selected. Discrimination may vary between age, race and more-so gender. Gender discrimination cannot, thus, be eradicated.

We find that there appears to be a higher female to male ratio in the Front Office department. This is not necessarily mandatory but has definitely set a trend. Many women with more confidence, taller, petite, out-spoken with more defined features are usually placed as the “face of the hotel” i. e. : in Front Office. This is opposed to more masculine and passive males, who might intimidate guests. Front office personnel are front of the house staff, meaning they are in constant contact with customers and represent the hotel on a large scale.

Therefore, human resource staffs tend to hire women versus men, friendlier yet professional candidates. It too has been detected, based on perhaps male intuition or egotism, for guests, especially men, to first approach a lady representative at the Front Desk as opposed to a male staff member. This cannot be derived from a specific cause but psychologists have concluded this through human behavioral studies. Women tend to dominate this department but on a smaller scale. As one looks further up the organizational hierarchy more men tend to attain managerial positions.

We thus then notice the imbalance in opportunity and then discrimination comes more into play. It can be depicted that the “situation” in the Hospitality and Tourism industry is reflective of the labour market in general. Thus there is a significant horizontal and vertical gender segregation of the labour market in the hospitality industry . Horizontally, both men and women are offered jobs in diverse fields – women are placed in front office; flight attendants; chambermaids, etc. whereas men are drivers; pilots; barmen, etc. Vertically, the “gender pyramid” is prevalent in the hospitality and tourism sector – low levels and occupations with few chances for career development are being opportune to women and key managerial positions given to men. Traditional gender – roles contribute to gender discrimination in the front office department. In these roles, women are assigned the main responsibilities of child rearing, household duties and caring of family members.

Thus, women are often forced to choose more casual labour, part-time and/or seasonal jobs. Legally, Human Resources cannot lay off women for having maternity leave off, which in Malaysia mothers receive 90days off . Therefore there is a very discreet tendency to hire men for higher positions in the department as well as the industry on a large. This is due to the mere fact that men are less prone to take absent leave, or paid-days leave to attend to family matters whereas this is traditionally a women’s responsibility.

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Gender Discrimination in Hotels. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

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