Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of AccorHotels, was recently invited by the UN to speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos as a Global Impact Champion. He appeared alongside UN Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson, and the brains behind the UN’s HeForShe campaign, Elizabeth Nyamayaro, to show how corporations can help drive gender equality. AccorHotels is one of just ten companies selected by UN Women as one of the champion corporations of the HeForShe – IMPACT 10x10x10 pilot initiative, thanks to the group’s commitment to gender parity.
“I am absolutely convinced that women should be free to have fulfilling careers and be given the same opportunities as men,” said Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of AccorHotels at a special session hosted at the Davos World Economic Forum. “As CEO of AccorHotels, I know that we have the resources and capacity to bring about real change.
“It’s simple: individuals doing the same work should receive the same remuneration. That’s a global issue which is linked to women’s empowerment and gender equality in the workplace. AccorHotels supports HeForShe because we believe that both women and men are critical to achieving gender equality and promoting women’s empowerment.
“Our values, our Human Resources policy and the WAAG, our internal diversity network, speak for it. Employees, partners and guests, we must all stave off gender-related prejudices, offer a more gender equal remuneration policy, promote more women to managerial positions, ensure that men commit to this change and, through our endowment fund Solidarity Accor, encourage projects that help train and integrate young women in difficulty,” he added.
In January 2015, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson launched IMPACT 10x10x10 during the World Economic Forum at Davos. Twelve months later, the HeForShe Initiative has built a cohort of the most dedicated advocates of gender equality from around the world. This global team of champions has committed to real change within and beyond their own institutions, on an ambitious timeline.
AccorHotels’ selection for the campaign follows the creation in 2012 of WAAG (Women At AccorHotels Generation), its internal gender diversity network, and the signature, in January 2015, of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) upheld by UN Women and the UN Global Compact.
WAAG is a motivated network to inspire women to evolve within AccorHotels. In its fight against stereotypes, the Group leverages on this platform to reach its gender equality goal as well as provide a network of solidarity and support to share experiences.
In AccorHotels Asia Pacific, women in the business thrive from the strong support of their male counterparts. For example, in each region, there is a WAAG Champion and in India, the Champion is a male General Manager which is a testament of the strong support of men in the group towards their women colleagues.
AccorHotels Asia Pacific offers various platforms for women to put themselves forward and achieve their leadership ambitions.
35% women hotel managers by end 2017
As part of this initiative, AccorHotels has made the following pledges for end 2017:
1. Gender parity in management and equal pay:
• 35% women hotel managers
• Commitment to reduce the pay gap between men and women at the Paris head office and in three other countries
2. Sensitize and motivate male employees in favor of gender diversity, with:
• 35% male membership of internal network WAAG
• 50,000 male employees involved as HeForShe champions
Changing mentalities in the hotel sector
As a member of the HeForShe movement, AccorHotels has also committed to changing mentalities in the hospitality industry by paying particular attention to female guests. Though the share of women travellers staying in its hotels increased from 26% to 34% between 2000 and 2013*, the hotel chain sector remains tailored by men for men. For this reason AccorHotels is currently conducting a survey in partnership with IPSOS** that clearly demonstrates that women, regardless of their culture, have their own expectations regarding all hotel segments. 90% of them consider an offer specially designed for women as innovative. As early as 2013, upscale brand MGallery, had developed Inspired by Her, an offer specifically tailored for women.