While it’s difficult not to be skeptical when a company sends out a press release, it is important to encourage the efforts of employers, both big and small, to drive gender equality in the workplace. It’s also vital to include men and particularly those in a position of power, in the global effort to achieve gender parity.
Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of AccorHotels was recently invited by the UN to speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos as a Global Impact Champion. He appeared alongside UN Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, and the brains behind the UN’s #HeForShe campaign Elizabeth Nyamayaro, to show how corporations can help drive gender equality.
Speaking at a special session of the Davos World Economic Forum, the Sébastien Bazin said, “I am absolutely convinced that women should be free to have fulfilling careers and be given the same opportunities as men. As CEO of AccorHotels, I know that we have the resources and capacity to bring about real change.”
“It’s simple. Individuals doing the same work should receive the same remuneration. That’s a global issue which is linked to women’s empowerment and gender equality in the workplace,” said Mr Bazin. “AccorHotels supports HeForShe because we believe that both women and men are critical to achieving gender equality and promoting women’s empowerment.”
“Employees, partners and guests, we must all stave off gender-related prejudices, offer a more gender equal remuneration policy, promote more women to managerial positions, ensure that men commit to this change and…encourage projects that help train and integrate young women in difficulty.”
AccorHotels is one of just ten companies selected by UN Women as champion corporations of HeForShe’s IMPACT 10x10x10 pilot initiative. The other champion corporations are: Schneider Electric, Vodafone, Twitter, McKinsey & Company, Unilever, Tupperware Brands, Barclays, Koç Holding, and PWC International Limited.
Launched in January 2015 by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson, IMPACT 10x10x10, has built a cohort of dedicated advocates of gender equality from around the world. This global team of champions has committed to real change within and beyond their own institutions, on an ambitious timeline.
AccorHotels’ selection for the campaign follows the creation in 2012 of WAAG (Women At AccorHotels Generation), its internal gender diversity network, and the signature, in January 2015, of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) upheld by UN Women and the UN Global Compact.
WAAG’s objective is to inspire women within AccorHotels to reach their potential. WAAG’s main activities are mentoring, sharing of experiences and training, as well as the creation and collaboration through networks, of greater access by women to managerial positions. In AccorHotels Asia Pacific, women are offered various platforms to put themselves forward and achieve their leadership ambitions.
As part of this initiative, AccorHotels has made the following pledges for the end of 2017:
1. Gender parity in management and equal pay:
· 35% women hotel managers; and
· Commitment to reduce the pay gap between men and women at the Paris head office and in three other countries.
2. Sensitise and motivate male employees in favour of gender diversity, with:
· 35% male membership of internal network WAAG; and
· 50,000 male employees involved as HeForShe champions.
As a member of the HeForShe movement, AccorHotels has also committed to changing mentalities in the hospitality industry by paying particular attention to female guests. Though the share of women travellers staying in its hotels increased from 26% to 34% between 2000 and 2013¹, the hotel chain sector remains tailored by men for men.
For this reason AccorHotels is currently conducting a survey in partnership with IPSOS² that clearly demonstrates that women, regardless of their culture, have their own expectations regarding all hotel segments. 90% of them consider an offer specially designed for women as innovative. In 2013, upscale brand MGallery, developed Inspired by Her, an offer specifically tailored for women.
1. AccorHotels CRM/Database
2. AccorHotels-IPSOS survey, Hospitality offers dedicated to women: potential and opportunities, October 2015.