Daniela Freund (HTSI): “in the tourism sector, only 3 of every 10 highly qualified positions are occupied by women”




On February 19, the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi took part in the Hospitality Innovation Planet-Horeca Professional Expo with a lecture by HTSI professor and researcher Daniela Freund. Freund participated in the round table “Women Leadership: abanderando el futuro Horeca” (Women Leadership: Leading the Future of Horeca).

According to data from the World Tourism Organization provided by Freund, tourism makes up 10% of the world’s GDP, and is responsible for 1 out of every 10 jobs worldwide. It employs 55-70% of women, depending on the country. In addition, “tourism is the third most important source of employment for women on a global scale, after the heath and education sectors.”


According to INE data, of the 1.6 million workers in the hotel industry in Spain, 53.5% are women: “the predominance of women can be seen most notably in hosting companies, where the percentage rises to 58.1%” noted the HTSI researcher, who continued: “women fill 60% of less-qualified positions, but there are very few women –about 30%– in highly qualified or management positions.” As an example, of the 220 three- or five-star hotels in Barcelona, only 30% are directed by women.

Nevertheless, most employees are women, both in restaurants and hospitality. Men predominate among the freelance restaurant workers, while the hospitality sector is more balanced in terms of gender. According to Daniela Freund, “there are almost twice as many women employed in tourism as in any other sector.”

A 20% wage gap exists in the tourism sector


The lecturer noted that, according to CEHAT, a wage gap of about 20% exists in the Catalan tourism sector (the general wage gap in Catalonia is 30%): “in the lower range of salaries, we find 64% of women. The higher the education level, the smaller the wage gap. In the case of higher education, the wage gap is much smaller: 12.3%. That doesn’t mean that the same thing happens with the level of qualification of the position: in highly-qualified positions, the wage gap is 16.8%.”

Daniela Freund concluded by noting that “the data shows that tourism can offer greater employment, entrepreneurship and leadership opportunities to women than other sectors. This gives our sector greater responsibility in terms of women’s progress.”

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