Opinion: Breaking the Chains of Gender Bias

Opinion: Breaking the Chains of Gender Bias

When you work in hospitality, it’s inevitable guests will complain about one thing or another. Comes with the territory! One issue I never gave much thought to before experiencing it firsthand was the way in which guests can react differently to female employees compared to male employees.   

I used to work at boutique and upscale hotel properties, and my team and I always did our best to accommodate whatever requests/complaints came our way – however big or small. There were times, though, when a request was outside the realm of what we could accommodate. I would explain our position to the guest, and often if it wasn’t what they wanted to hear, they would insist on speaking with someone else. It became my routine to go in the back and find a  male  coworker to come out and repeat the same thing I just said. Lo and behold, the guest would suddenly accept the answer. It was interesting (and frustrating) to see how oftentimes the exact same answer – provided by a man – resulted in a different response from both male and female guests. 

As females, we grow up seeing this scenario play out time and time again. Take this example, where  a male and female swapped email signatures  for a couple of weeks. The male found that everything he suggested was questioned and found the experience to be extremely frustrating. The female, in turn, had an amazing experience, finding seamless interactions and people taking her more seriously. 

These TED Talks are truly insightful when it comes to the differences we experience as both men and women:  I’ve lived as a man and as a woman — here’s what I’ve learned,  and  We should all be feminists. Take a listen as you go about your day today. It’s eye-opening to realize these things occur every day, all around us. And until you experience it, you don’t truly understand its depth. 

We at Goodwin Recruiting are doing all we can day in and day out to help open our clients’, candidates’, and our own eyes to these differences. We invite you to join us in being aware of the judgments we may inadvertently be making – whether based on gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Let’s break this chain and create a new norm, where everyone is accepted as equal.