Accor SE Asia closes the gender parity gap in leadership team

Accor is looking to close the gender parity gap in its South East Asia operations as the hotel giant hosts a conference highlighting the impacts of gender-based violence.

“We are at a pivotal moment in history, with the #MeToo movement showing the prevalence of harassment and violence against women, and the best way to combat this is to ensure we have equal representation of women in positions of leadership across the workplace and the community,” said Garth Simmons, CEO Accor SE Asia, Japan and South Korea.

“I am proud to say that my executive committee consists of five women and six men and I have always believed that gender equity leads to a richness of ideas and greater collaboration and performance.”

Simmons acknowledges that while his leadership committee is gender-balanced, more needs to be done to ensure equal representation of women across the group, especially in the area of operations.

The heads of the Corporate Finance, Legal, Talent & Culture (HR), Commercial and Communications teams are women but in the operational side of the business, there is still a predominance of men.

While women make up 40.5 per cent of staff at hotel level, they represent only 14 per cent of hotel general managers. In terms of corporate offices, 57.5 per cent of staff are women and 56.4 per cent of middle managers are women.

There is a strong pipeline of women coming up through the organisation at a corporate level, but further action must be taken to encourage more women to take up the role of general manager at a hotel level, says Simmons.

“I have asked our teams across SE Asia, Japan & South Korea to double down on their efforts to ensure women are offered equal opportunities across all levels of the business and we will particularly focus on fostering more female general managers across the hub,” he said.

As one of the 10 founding signatories of the United Nations HeForShe movement, Accor will also host a conference highlighting the impacts of gender-based violence, featuring speakers including Kalliopi Mingeirou, UN Women Chief, Ending Violence against Women and Girls; Geraldine Grace da Fonseca da Justa, Director of Brazil’s Department for Policies to Combat Violence Against Women; and Sohini Bhattacharya, President & CEO Breakthrough India.

“As the father of two daughters, I want to make sure they grow up in a world where everyone is treated with dignity and respect and offered equal access to opportunities,” said Simmons.

“Working across 12 countries in Asia, I have seen first-hand how poverty and inaccessibility can foster gender-based inequality and I am deeply committed to creating an environment where we can bring about real change. In particular, we must promote and mentor women and engage in community projects that provide support and education to disadvantaged women and girls.”