The following article was featured in Hotel Business.
HEI Hotels & Resorts, a privately held hotel investment and third-party management company, recently convened in Dallas for the meeting of its Women in Leadership Council. In its third year, the council, led by women, hopes to cultivate more diversity in a male-dominated industry by championing and promoting female leaders within the organization and across their over 90 properties nationwide.
The Women in Leadership Council was formed in 2017 under the leadership of Rachel Moniz (pictured above, left), principal/COO, HEI, and Kelsey White (pictured above, right), director, talent acquisition and compensation at HEI.
“The goal of launching this group was to positively impact career growth within HEI while overcoming the obstacles and challenges we face as women leaders in the hospitality industry,” said Moniz. “Our long-term goal is to obtain gender parity at the general manager level across all our properties.”
Since the program launched in 2017, HEI has advanced gender parity from 5% to 25% by the end of 2021.
Currently, the Women in Leadership Council is comprised of 44 members, eight of which were inducted to the group this year. Once a year HEI property general managers have the opportunity to nominate exceptional female leaders into the program. After a review process, members are paired with mentors and sponsors to guide them through the program and introduce them to different verticals within the hospitality industry, one of which is always Moniz. An exchange program between properties allows members to learn from various industry experts in states outside of their own.
The recent meeting in Dallas was held at Knife Steakhouse, located within The Highland Dallas (an HEI Hotels & Resorts property) followed by a day of volunteering at the North Texas Food Bank. “Having the opportunity to meet with these exceptional women, exchange ideas and learn from each other, while supporting a mission we all passionate about, is incredibly inspiring,” said White.
Additionally, the group meets for workshops throughout the year. Most recently, one was led by Joann Lublin, author, “Power Moms: How Executive Mothers Navigate Work and Life,” and Kristy Wallace, CEO, Ellevate Network.