Cambodia - Women empowerment in the hospitality industry
Women empowerment is one of our core values: we, at b.Consulting, promote women achievements, ensure salary gender equality, support women employment and facilitate their access to top management positions.
Gender equality: a myth in hospitality’s sector ?
International statistics in this industry are meaningful, according to the reference website, hospitality.net : “Even though women make 50% of the workforce in hospitality, gender equality remains a myth in our sector. There is a significant gap in terms of rank, pay, role and general progression in women's leadership positions and female representation falls as women rise in their careers with only 5% going on to make the top job of CEO.”
Cambodia is no exception, even though we have been witnessing outstanding women success stories over the last decade.
Leading conglomerates or SME created or led by women:
The pioneer in this industry is probably Mrs Lauk Chumteav Neak Oknha PHEAP Heak, Founder of Chip Mong. This Cambodian leading conglomerate is managed by a woman. Chip Mong is one of the most important corporations with a wide range of assets and investment, including but not restricted to hospitality (Marriott, Kyatt, Grand Royal Golf), food & beverage (Chip Mong Retail) as well as brewery (Khmer beverages).
(8th March 2020 - Chip Mong video)
More recently, Madam Sarsileap Khieu, Chairwoman of Hanuman Beverages, distinguished herself with the launch of her beer brand and an investment of more than 160 million dollars.
However, these success stories should not make us forget that female entrepreneurship begins with successes with less investment.
Her motto is: “Our employees are from diverse backgrounds with great expertise and passion. We fulfill the needs of our team by creating a safe and entertaining environment for their workplace. We invest in our employees’ well-being and believe their intrinsic motivation will help them pursue their future goals and ensure maximum productivity.” (source : letter from our Chairwoman)
Women entrepreneurships are not only about huge conglomerates. Success stories of women achievements in the hospitality and food and beverage industry are very often stories of SMEs.
Last year, b.Consulting assisted Lim Group in its development strategy to face Covid 19 challenges. In a video prepared for 2021 International Women’s Day, Mrs. LIM Khieng, Lim Group founder and CEO, explained her business core values and how being a woman entrepreneur had shaped her vision for development.
(March 2021 : Ms Khieng, chairwoman of LIM Group)
How international groups can make an impact in Cambodia as role model:
In Cambodia, as elsewhere in the world, the tourism or Food & Beverage industry is no exception to the following rule: gender diversity at top management positions remains a challenge. It cannot be denied that a majority of the highest positions are held by men.
As an exemple, to accelerate gender equality, ACCOR has decided to implement a dedicated program (HeforShe commitment) and set up clear objectives: “In 2015, 27% of hotel managers were women when we launched our HeForShe commitments. In 2020, we reached 34%.”
Career opportunities for women in the hospitality and F&B industry are numerous.
A strategic gender equality policy from companies should include:
Mentorship and female role models
Easy access to talent development programs
Help women to develop their networking
Use of technology
Flexible working hours
Family leave policies
Try new recruitment channels
But not only.
These strategies for enhancing the place of women are useful when they irrigate the whole of a society. In Cambodia, TVET schools very often welcome young girls for initial training in the hospitality industry. Another example, apprenticeship streams with 70% girls.
(Les soeurs Kimsan Pol et Kimsan Sok)
The hospitality sector is one of the most accessible to women with many positions of responsibility and opportunities for self-development. Nevertheless, Gender equality cannot be achieved without setting up a roadmap to achieve it.
b.Consulting is involved in helping companies to promote female employees to access management positions thanks to our dedicated internal training programs.