Technology double gender gap in tourism business leadership
The evolution of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) continues generating paradigm-shifts in the tourism industry, and the incorporation of gender diversity in the managing bodies of hospitality and tourism firms can become a factor of critical success. Nevertheless, women’s under-representation on decision-making positions in ICT or high-tech organizations (double gender gap) in the tourism industry has been hardly evaluated. The aim of this paper is to extend the understanding of the impact of this double level of discrimination at a vertical and horizontal level. The impact of stereotypes, gender roles and gendered organizations become the theoretical framework on this study. The biggest multi-nationals in the tourism industry were classified according to Eurostat’s definition of high-tech services in three intensive technological levels (High-Tech Knowledge Intensive; Knowledge-Intensive and Less Knowledge-lntensive). The composition of their Board of Directors (BOD) and Management Teams (MT) was analysed, through their annual reports and online public related documents, and evaluated through Content Analysis. Based on a total of 55 tourism related firms, the results confirm the direct relationship between the technological level of the companies and the lower participation of women on MT and BOD. Results also show that Gender Diversity Programs promote women representation on the BOD and that this relation is bi-directional, i.e. more women on BOD imply more gender diversity programs.
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