Hospitality and Sustainability
Workers in the hospitality sector reportedly experience discriminatory behaviour. Ethy

In a concerning revelation, a new report by Be Inclusive Hospitality exposed the extent of discriminatory behaviour within the hospitality sector.

A staggering one-third of workers report personal experiences of discrimination. The findings shed light on a deeply concerning issue that demands immediate attention and proactive measures to foster a more inclusive and equitable industry.

According to the Hospitality Report 2023, which surveyed a wide range of hospitality professionals across different roles and establishments, discriminatory behaviour was prevalent in various forms. Sixty-two per cent of surveyed Black and Asian workers cited racial bias as the reason.

Workers disclosed instances of discrimination based on race, gender, age, sexual orientation, and other factors, highlighting an alarming pattern of inequality within the industry.

The survey revealed that discriminatory behaviour took various forms, including offensive remarks, biased treatment in promotions or job assignments, exclusion from social activities, and even instances of harassment or bullying. Such experiences have left a significant impact on the affected workers, resulting in feelings of alienation, lowered self-esteem, and reduced job satisfaction.

The report serves as a call to action for the hospitality industry to acknowledge and address this pervasive issue. Discrimination not only damages the well-being of individuals but also undermines the industry's reputation and hampers its ability to attract and retain talented professionals.

Be Inclusive Hospitality founder Lorraine Copes said: "Over the last three years, we have seen the number of respondents numbers increase from over 300 in 2020 to over 3,000 today. I believe that this increase positively marks a growth in awareness and support for the work that we do.

"What is concerning is that the results surrounding discrimination, education at all levels, and the building of trust have remained stagnant. With this robust data set, my hope is that leaders now take heed and take action."

Professor Ioannis S. Pantelidis of Ulster University also said he hopes the new report helps the hospitality sector improve its current workplace practices.

"We hope provides insights into such important issues for the hospitality industry. I am grateful for the support of so many participants, well over 3,000, which goes to show that there is a thirst to contribute and help bring a positive change towards a more inclusive hospitality industry," he said.

Industry leaders and organisations are now urging employers to prioritise diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives to ensure fair treatment and equal opportunities for all workers. They emphasise the importance of fostering a workplace culture that celebrates diversity, respects individual differences and promotes a sense of belonging.

To tackle the issue effectively, experts recommend implementing comprehensive anti-discrimination policies and providing regular training for staff members to promote awareness and sensitivity. Establishing anonymous reporting systems can empower employees to speak up about discriminatory incidents without fear of retaliation, ensuring that grievances are appropriately addressed.

Moreover, industry associations and professional bodies are being called upon to play an active role in raising awareness and promoting inclusive practices. By sharing best practices, organising seminars and providing resources, these bodies can facilitate dialogue, education and collaboration among hospitality professionals.

The report also highlights the significance of collaboration between employers, workers and trade unions to drive meaningful change. By working together, stakeholders can create an environment that respects the rights and dignity of every individual, fostering a more inclusive and harmonious industry.

As the findings of this report reverberate throughout the sector, it is anticipated that employers will take immediate steps to address the issue head-on. By eradicating discriminatory behaviour and cultivating an inclusive work environment, the hospitality industry can set a positive example, ensuring that every worker feels respected, valued and empowered to thrive in their chosen profession.