November 4, 2021

Vacation Rental Women

Taking the Lead: Why It’s Important to Have Women Leading the Vacation Rental Industry

As the 2021 Vacation Rental Women’s Summit draws nearer, we got to thinking more about women’s roles in the vacation rental industry.

Hospitality may be thought of as a female-driven industry—and in many aspects, it is. A 2020 paper by the Hospitality Industry Pipeline found that female-identifying people make up close to 70% of the hospitality workforce.

However, few of those women and femme-identifying people held prominent leadership positions: only 8% of women held director-level roles, and only 20% held executive positions.

This is still a marked improvement, one that has continued to grow over the last few years. A report by the American Hotel & Lodging Foundation reported a 20% increase in promotions to CEO for women in 2018/19.

Why does this matter for the vacation rental industry?

Representing Our Guests

Did you know that women and female-identifying people make up to 70% of the decisions when it comes to travel? So if women and female-identifying people are planning the bulk of the trip—including where their group will be staying—it makes sense that women and female-identifying people should be spearheading many of the business decisions, as well.

And did you know that in 2019, 32 million women in the U.S. traveled solo at least once? This has encouraged the travel industry to make specific business decisions based specifically on the needs of women and female-identifying people traveling alone. In fact, travel agencies that cater solely to female travelers have gone up 250%. Airbnb (arguably one of the most popular short-term vacation rental companies in the world) estimates that 55% of its Hosts are women and female-identifying people, which has only increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Better for Business

Study after study concludes that a diverse leadership team makes a company more profitable. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, for every 10% increase in gender diversity, the company’s gross earnings rose 3.5%. 

The reason for this should be fairly obvious: A diverse array of backgrounds and experiences means a wider array of ideas. Fresh ideas can mean transformative business decisions, moving a company forward towards a more efficient workflow, higher revenue gains, and better resource management.

In the vacation rental industry, female-identifying people who begin their careers as housekeepers or front desk clerks offer a unique insight into the guest experience that lends itself well to better decision-making higher up. Their experience can help them make informed decisions about resource preparedness or pain points for staff and guests in the check-in or checkout process. This insight can be invaluable and can mean more bookings and smoother operations.

Celebrating Leading Women in the Vacation Rental Industry

Through the rest of October 2021, we’ll be highlighting women in the vacation rental industry, and asking them about their experience as they took on more and more responsibility, solidified their position within the VRM industry, and made changes that moved their businesses forward. We’re excited to share their stories with you.

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