NEWH - Fall 2021 - 10

GUEST PERSPECTIVE
Overturning Orthodoxies: How Hotel
CEOs Can Accelerate Diversity
BY ALEX MIRZA
FOUNDER AND CEO OF
MOGUL - HOSPITALITY ENGINE
A
s a double immigrant raised in Toronto, having spent
a decade in New York, and eventually starting a
lifestyle hotel brand in Shanghai, I enjoyed the benefit
of living in and working among the most diverse and
multicultural places on earth. I have also worked for diversity
award-winning corporations such as Deloitte, Accenture, and
Hilton to name a few.
Research confirms that discrimination is best understood
not by classroom lectures or corporate training, but by those
who have experienced it firsthand. In 2007, when I was SVP of
corporate development at Hilton, I was presenting to the board
of directors at a Waldorf Astoria resort in Phoenix. After a very
thorough question and answer period, I undid my tie and walked
to the valet to retrieve my car. I waited politely alongside a
few other hotel guests at this iconic resort. In a span of a few
minutes, not one, but three white men handed me the keys to
their vintage sports cars, mistaking me for the valet. I passed
the keys over to the actual valet who quipped, " This is one of
the few places where they trust brown people. " It turns out all
three were CEOs of real estate and finance companies and were
frequent guests. While the implicit bias of this experience was
demoralizing, it pales in comparison to the explicit barriers that
women and ethnic minorities face in reaching the senior ranks of
the hospitality industry.
Given the lack of diversity at the top of hotel companies, it is even
more important for executives to get off the beaten path. When I
became CEO of Cachet Hotels in Shanghai in 2012, I championed
increasing diversity and made it one of my top three objectives as
CEO. In 2012, we set a bold goal of 50 percent female and minority
general managers at our hotels and restaurants. At the time
women comprised 70 percent of the hotel workforce in China, but
only 5 percent of full-service hotel GMs.
Cachet Hotels' diversity initiative grew from a top-down purpose
to being a widely adopted practice embraced by hotel operators
whose entire experience was working for European men in
mainland China. Five years later, we met our objective across our
entire portfolio in China, the rest of Asia, and the Americas. We
were also pleased that a few years later, in 2015, Accor announced
a goal of 35 percent women hotel general managers in the AsiaPacific
region.
I returned to the States a few years ago and partnered with hotel
industry veterans, data scientists, and technologists to build
MogulRecruiter, an elite talent marketplace whose mission is to
perfect meritocracy and accelerate diversity. According to our
research, women and minorities comprise 60 percent and 40
percent of the U.S. hotel frontline respectively. However, only 20
percent of U.S. hotel GMs are women and 10 percent minorities.
Black people represent 15 percent of the frontline and only
10 newh.org
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NEWH - Fall 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NEWH - Fall 2021

President's Letter
News
Guest Perspective
Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity
Who's Who
Conference RoundUp
Have You Seen
Scholarships
Scholarship Heroes
Interview
Sustainability Point of View
Q&A: Sarah Churchill
Q&A: Barry Sullivan
Q&A: Ben Wells
Cover Story
Project: Saltline Hotel
Project: ABA Restaurant Austin
Project: Un Diavolo Per Capello
Project: Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas
Chapter Highlights
Save The Date
New Members
Partner Profiles
Sponsor Index
NEWH - Fall 2021 - FC
NEWH - Fall 2021 - IFC
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 3
NEWH - Fall 2021 - President's Letter
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 5
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 6
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 7
NEWH - Fall 2021 - News
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 9
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Guest Perspective
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 11
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 12
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 13
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 15
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 16
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 17
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Who's Who
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 19
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 20
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 21
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 22
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 23
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 24
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 25
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 26
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 27
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Conference RoundUp
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 29
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Have You Seen
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 31
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 32
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 33
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 34
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 35
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 36
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 37
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 38
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 39
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Scholarships
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 41
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Scholarship Heroes
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 43
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Interview
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 45
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 46
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 47
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Sustainability Point of View
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 49
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 50
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 51
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Q&A: Sarah Churchill
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 53
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Q&A: Barry Sullivan
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 55
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Q&A: Ben Wells
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 57
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Cover Story
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 59
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Project: Saltline Hotel
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 61
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 62
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 63
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Project: ABA Restaurant Austin
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 65
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 66
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 67
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Project: Un Diavolo Per Capello
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 69
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 70
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 71
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Project: Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 73
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 74
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 75
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Chapter Highlights
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 77
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 78
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 79
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 80
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 81
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 82
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 83
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 84
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 85
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 86
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 87
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 88
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 89
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Save The Date
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 91
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 92
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 93
NEWH - Fall 2021 - New Members
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 95
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 96
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 97
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 98
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 99
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Partner Profiles
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 101
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 102
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 103
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 104
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 105
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Sponsor Index
NEWH - Fall 2021 - IBC
NEWH - Fall 2021 - BC
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