Attend any hospitality industry conference or event and it is notable how the majority of the attendees—many of whom hold top tier executive titles—are male rather than female. At the property level too, if during your stay, you request to speak to the general manager the chances are you will be greeted by a man rather than a woman. (A female hotel director in Europe contends that an old boy network still exists in hospitality.)
The hospitality industry has been traditionally male dominated partly because of the culture and nature of the industry, where job opportunities are more versatile and require senior executives to be flexible with relocation options. For many female hoteliers, they often face the dilemma of having to make a choice between family and career, and most of the time, the former always wins the power struggle.
It’s a fact that senior hotelier roles require a big commitment. Managing a hotel is not a 9-5 job and can be difficult to fit a personal life around the demands of the property and its staff—general managers especially are often referred to as being ‘married to the job’. This is hard for both sexes but particularly for women.
I sat down with Elodie Lacroix, Rome Cavalieri’s director of business development who joined the property late last year.
Lacroix previously held the position of director of sales and marketing at the Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris and as director of sales for the Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts Group in London.
She’s responsible for developing a commercial strategy covering all segments and channels to maximise revenue and profit performance of the hotel.
I started by asking her about the highlights with Rome Cavalieri since taking on the role just 9 months ago.