The purpose of the study was to explore the roles of hospitality education programs in preparing women for leadership roles in the industry and in reducing industry barriers to women's advancement. Literature reviews suggested both educators and industry leaders should take responsibility for preparing women for success as well as preparing education programs to create a more equitable environment for women. Data were collected through an online survey from a convenience sample of 226 hospitality students, educators, and industry recruiters. The sample groups were selected to represent the views of future leaders of the industry, the educators who prepare and mentor them, and those individuals who serve as industry gatekeepers. Major themes were identified through a content analysis of narrative responses to open-ended questions from the three groups. Themes identified for preparing women for leadership included: "focus on leadership skills," "mentoring," and "provide female role models." Themes identified for reducing barriers included: "educate women about the barriers they will face" and "teach women to value their abilities." The findings demonstrate that hospitality education programs can contribute to the creation of a more supportive industry environment for women.
- hospitality education
- hospitality industry
- women in the hospitality industry