In the Nation's Interest
Advancing Women in Corporate Leadership Spotlight: Pamela Barnhill, IBC Hospitality Technologies
How important is gender diversity to your company, and what value does it bring?
It’s extremely important to IBC Hospitality Technologies that as a company we embrace everyone. Each individual, male or female, provides different points of view and experiences to build our team, helping to craft our best possible products and solutions. Having a diverse team helps us to brainstorm more effectively and implement compelling business practices.
Are there certain initiatives within the company that promote advancing women in corporate leadership?
IBC Hospitality Technologies is an equal opportunities employer. We provide equal opportunity to our employees, regardless of gender, to advance in responsibility and to work in corporate leadership roles. As a company, we strive to help cultivate a culture of learning that benefits all employees and helps employees, male or female, to further their career goals and education.
From your personal experience as a female executive, what do you think needs to change in order to increase female representation in leadership positions?
As a female executive I have experienced firsthand the work that it takes to build a successful career. My experience leads me to believe that women and men both go through phases in their careers. This can also be pictured in terms of career “waves” or fluctuations. It’s vital in any persons career path that during these career waves or fluctuations, individuals have support. Females especially are faced with the balancing act (typically) of raising a family while pursuing a successful career and advancing to leadership positions. One big change that needs to occur is providing more support to growing families. Both females and males should be able to feel reassured that they are valued the same as their coworkers regardless of their family status or family goals. Companies could also consider providing more flexibility to employees so long as the job expectations are being performed successfully.
How has your personal experience as a female executive helped shape your company’s diversity and inclusion practices?
My personal experiences as a student, employee, mother, wife and now executive have given me the ability to view a situation and workplace through many different vantage points. This allows me to view skillsets of individuals and determine how those skills will be best served and used at our company. This helps our company execute strategy and achieve its goals by customizing solutions to each individual employee.
Are there any daily practices employees engage in that advance gender diversity in leadership?
At IBC Hospitality Technologies we foster a culture of respect and open communication. It’s important to me that each of my employees feel valued and listened to. I encourage all employees of IBC to treat each other as equals, regardless of gender.
Is there any research your company has done on diversity & inclusion?
We haven’t done any previous research on diversity and inclusion but are aware of the importance of gender diversity in the workplace and encouraging leadership in our employees, both female and male.
What do you think your industry can do better to promote gender diversity in leadership roles?
One benefit of the hospitality industry at a property level, hotels, accomodation properties, B&Bs and more, is that there are many jobs and needs for employees both male and female. The hospitality industry at a property level does very well at practicing inclusion and exemplifying gender diversity. However, there is a large gap in senior and c-level positions and their pay levels at global hospitality companies. The hospitality industry can do much more to foster a culture of support for women looking to work at an executive level within the industry. This could include providing more training for females in hospitality and creating awareness regarding the gap in positions and pay level as well as active mentorship.
For companies that have yet to establish a set of D&I practices, what steps can they take to begin?
D&I practices are important to the success of every company. If a company is looking to begin to establish D&I practices its important they start with communication among their team. Ask their employees what their goals are, establish company-wide goals and expectations for employee performance. As companies learn of each employees goals, they should look for opportunities to promote from within.