Women in Hospitality Management: General Managers’ Perceptions of Factors Related to Career Development

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A descriptive study was undertaken to learn more about women’s career development in the hospitality industry from general managers’ perspectives. The primary purpose of the study was to identify the communication skills and job-related activities that were perceived to have contributed most significantly to individuals’ advancement, and to determine any differences between men’s and women’s perceptions regarding the most essential competencies and behaviors for advancement in the hospitality industry. Both groups rated the significance of eight potential obstacles to women’s career development. Demographic information was gathered to determine whether significant differences existed between the samples of men and women. The samples of both men and women ranked listening competence as the most important communication skill for career advancement in the hospitality industry, followed by group leadership skills. Perceptions regarding the behaviors and/or circumstances that contributed to career development were also similar between the two groups; both ranked (1) hard work, (2) a positive attitude and (3) communication effectiveness as the three most essential items. The only significant difference between the two groups was with regard to the role mentoring played in mens’ and womens’ career development. The relative ranking of various obstacles to women’s career development was similar between the samples of men and women; however, significant differences existed in the degree to which each group felt these items posed a problem to women in hospitality management.

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women; career development; hospitality management; general managers perceptions


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Required Publisher Statement: © International Journal of Hospitality Management. Final version published as: Brownell, J. (1994). Women in hospitality management: General managers’ perceptions of factors related to career development. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 13(2) 101-117. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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