As we work towards gender equality, it’s essential to recognize and celebrate female leaders in the hotel industry. With men holding the lion’s share of top management positions, it’s refreshing to see women paving the way and breaking barriers. Here are four inspiring female leaders in the hotel industry that you should watch out for.
Elena Nabau, Ona Hotel Terra (Spain)
With more than 20 years of experience in lifestyle luxury hotel management, Elena Nabau has been at the helm of Ona Hotel Terra as the General Manager. She oversees all hotel pre-opening, opening, and daily operations.
She also has significant experience working under various management styles ranging from independent family-owned properties to international hotel chains. Since taking the role of GM at the Ona Hotel Terra in February 2020, Elena has already started executing her vision to establish the hotel as a lifestyle luxury brand.
Cati Cardell Crespí, Hotels VIVA (Palma de Mallorca, Spain)
Since securing the eCommerce managerial position at Hotels VIVA in 2017, Cati Cardell has been responsible for all the company’s excellent digital marketing and online sales operations.
This includes driving strategy, planning, budgeting, execution, analysis, and optimization across channels such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, TripAdvisor Media Suite, yield management platforms (such as HRS or Booking.com) metasearch engines (like Trivago), and online travel agencies (OTAs).
Cati Cardell Crespí regularly works with the marketing team to develop creative content for VIVA’s social media accounts. She also contributes to the success of a hotel by assisting with inventory management, pricing, and commercial distribution.
Emma Goodwin, the Surfrider Hotel (California)
With the help of her husband, the couple transformed a 1950s motel into a coastal destination of choice for creatives. Emma is responsible for the hotel’s interior design, hospitality, and creative direction.
Her life since high school has been a real example of hard work and continuous determination. Since she was 14 years old, Emma has been doing odd jobs and knocking on various doors of opportunities which must have given her the agility and creativity she has now to manage a hotel.
Her acumen in business management isn’t coming as a surprise either since she has mastered the art of business over the years, even while traveling the world in her twenties.
Chieko Aoki, Blue Tree Hotels (São Paulo, Brazil)
Chieko is a force to be reckoned with as the CEO of Blue Tree Hotels in Brazil. She was born and raised in Japan but has since gained a Brazilian nationality through naturalization.
She is a believer in culture and a believer in modern education. That explains her numerous degrees from prestigious universities in the U.S and Brazil, among others, a hospitality course, which is a crucial course for success in the hospitality industry.
Before being so well known for her work at Blue Tree, Chieko Aoki worked with Hilton Worldwide, where she used all of her experience to help grow the Blue Tree Hotels brand in Brazil.
She has been a strong advocate for women’s rights and well-being, not just within the walls of her hotel but also as she fought against discriminatory practices at different organizations where she worked earlier on in life.
It’s very impressive what these courageous women are doing in the hospitality industry, and we can’t wait to see what more they’ll achieve in the years ahead. Hotels are a critical part of any city or town, and the people leading them must be doing so with intelligence, integrity, and strength.