Nineteen organizations have joined forces to advance women in hospitality industry leadership. While each of these independent organizations will continue its work individually to advance women’s initiatives in the industry, together they formed the Women in Hospitality Leadership Alliance which will amplify all their programs, messaging and initiatives advancing women in leadership. 

Founded by Rachel Humphrey, formerly EVP and COO at AAHOA, the concept behind the alliance is that by working together, the groups will achieve more to advance women into executive leadership roles. According to research by Castell, An AHLA Foundation Project, one woman for every ten men holds these roles, despite women making up more than 57 percent of industry workers. 

“There are so many organizations and leaders committed to this important initiative. By collaborating, we're able to advance all these efforts which will move the needle farther and faster for our industry,” Humphrey said. “At a time when human resources and financial resources are at a premium, it is great to see these groups getting together and sharing with one another in an effort to maximize the impact of each and collectively of all.”

Participating organizations are:

  1. African Association of Women in Tourism and Hospitality—Amaka Amatokwu-Ndekwu, Daphne Spencer
  2. ForWard: Women Advancing Hospitality (American Hotel & Lodging Association)—Katie Moore
  3. AAHOA—Heather Carnes
  4. Boutique Lifestyle Leaders Association / Travel Industry Executive Women’s Network—Fran Kiradjian, Ariela Kiradjian
  5. Castell, An AHLA Foundation Project—Peggy Berg, Fern Kanter, Lan Elliott, Deb Cox
  6. DEI Advisors—David Kong, Rachel Humphrey, Lan Elliott
  7. FAB Workshop—Randi Weinstein
  8. Forum on Leadership for Women by Red Roof—Marina MacDonald
  9. WINiT by Global Business Travel Association—Dorothy Dowling
  10. Hertelier—Emily Goldfischer
  11. Howard University School of Business Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership—Ashli Johnson
  12. International Society of Hospitality Consultants / Questex Diversity Council—Andrea Belfanti
  13. Inspiring Women in Hospitality—Naureen Ahmed
  14. Latino Hotel Association—Lynette Montoya
  15. Raizup—Rita Varga
  16. She Has a Deal, including Fortuna's Table—Tracy Prigmore, Viviana Wilkins
  17. Women Leading Travel & Hospitality—Hannah DeMaio
  18. Women in Travel Thrive—Silvia Camarota, Rachel Humphrey
  19. Women Own the Room by Wyndham—Lisa Checchio

In addition to these organizations, several individuals are also contributing their expertise and guidance, including Andrea Foster of Marcus Hotels & Resorts and Talene Staab of Hilton Hotels & Resorts.

“These remarkable women and men are having an incredible impact with strong initiatives that are rapidly advancing women in leadership and by working together we are sure the impact will be even greater,” said Peggy Berg, founder of Castell, an AHLA Foundation Project and founding member of the alliance.

The group began conversations in November 2021, met in person at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit in January 2022, and has connected regularly since then. The organizations share their goals, upcoming efforts, educational resources, event information and one another’s messaging to amplify the overall and collective mission of advancing women in hospitality.

“I look forward to seeing the tremendous impact these organizations, already successful in so many ways, will continue to have on advancing women in leadership in our industry as the result of their collaboration,” Humphrey said.