Gender Differences in Career Development in Hospitality Industry

Last Updated: 18 May 2021
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The idea of gender identity is basic to modern Western societies. It has been assumed not only by feminists but by men and women who defend the notion of binary feminine and masculine identity. The view of men and women are two distinct, opposite human types is so vigorously enforced by custom and law that this suggests an unconscious political force at work. Making humans into two opposite gender types, each with their own unique physical, psychic and social nature and each imagined as incomplete without the other naturalizes and normalizes a system of reproductive heterosexuality.

Indeed, gender is social not natural. The concept of heterosexuality should not be seen as a normal phenomenon. Through a social process, women and men become males and females. Career development is assumed as natural. It is natural that people will seek growth and development in their respective careers. Not only for financial security but also for personal growth and development. One of the fastest growing industries in the world is the hospitality industries. Hospitality industries include hospitals, hotels and catering services.

According to Purcell (1996, p. 17) in UK alone, women in hospitality industries comprise nearly three-quarters of the workforce. Moreover, Purcell added that hospitality industry as a whole has been claimed to be the second largest sector of the UK economy. The study of Purcell revealed three reasons or factors why there are many employees in the hospitality industries and their career is more successful than males. These three factors are: contingently-gendered jobs, sex-typed occupations and patriarchally-prescribed occupations.

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The first factor, contingently-gendered jobs, is practiced by those employers who are seek cheap employees and as a result, they look for women specifically for some reasons such as these women are commonly classified as 'cheap labors' because they do not necessarily ask for high compensation since they are not breadwinners of their families. Moreover in search for 'cheap labor' of some hospitality industries, they employ women from minority groups and teenagers. The second factor mentioned by Purcell is that women are fit for some 'sex-typed occupations'.

Occupations in the hospitality industry require some types of works that can be performed properly by women than men. Moreover, the physical attributes of women such as good figure and beautiful face of women are factors why employment in hospitality industries is seen as “sex-typed occupations”. Lastly, hospitality industries do not require patriarchally-prescribed occupations. Patriarchally-prescribed occupation means occupations and jobs created for men only. Since hospitality industries require caring and emotional labour, only women would qualify.

Brownell (1994) also made a study on women in hospitality industries. She founded several factors why women are usually hired in hospitality industries compared to men. One of the factors is those women’s communication skills; a skill that is very important in hospitality industries is better compared to men. Another result of her study is that, there are certain work-qualities of women that are required the hospitality industries. Examples of these are works attitude, hard work and personality. There are a lot of studies about women's rights, women’s oppression and women discrimination. The fact that still there is some stereotyping when it comes to hospitality industries; it shows that there is still discrimination on women. Stereotyping is a kind of discrimination.


  1. Browmell, Judi (1994). Women in hospitality management: general managers' perceptions of factors related to career development. Pergamor Publishing, Great Britain.
  2. Purcell, Kate (1996). The relationship between career and job opportunities: women's employment in the hospitality industry as a microcosm of women's employment in Women in Management Review, Volume 11 No. 5. MCB University press.

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Gender Differences in Career Development in Hospitality Industry. (2018, Apr 06). Retrieved from

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