Red Roof Celebrates Women-Owned Hotels

Red Roof, an award-winning leader in the lodging industry, has continued to build on its success in fostering an environment where women can thrive with its fourth annual Forum on Leadership for Women Entrepreneurs on 24-25 May in Austin, Texas.

Developed to help women in hospitality develop more profound business acumen and stronger leadership skills, leaders across the industry came together to help Red Roof celebrate its progress. Driven by the vision and passion of Chief Marketing Officer Marina MacDonald, Red Roof has been industry-leading in gathering women to collaborate, educate and equip them with the tools and insights to promote continued growth and support. Currently, 31 percent of Red Roof's hotels are owned or partially owned by women. Additionally, as women continue to rise in management ranks, there has been a 20 percent growth in women leadership at Red Roof over the past three years.

"The past two years have been challenging, especially for women, and the impact the pandemic had on travel and hospitality exacerbated the pressure felt by women in our industry. As women juggle work and home, there is no such thing as work/life balance. Rather, there are work/life choices that women are forced to make daily," said MacDonald. "I designed this hybrid professional/personal event to help our attendees further develop their business and leadership skills, as well as the tools to take better care of themselves, so that we will not only help grow more successful and happy women entrepreneurs, but we will also encourage the development of sustainable habits that will lead to a lifetime of success."

This year, the Forum welcomed over 100 women attendees across two days, including Red Roof franchise owners, industry leaders and corporate team members, all seeking to collaborate and help one another overcome barriers to success. During the event, attendees had the chance to network, learn and support each other, and hear from inspirational and industry-leading experts. Speakers included: Dr Lalia Rach, Founder & Partner, Rach Enterprises; Mary Beth Cutshall, Founder & Managing Partner, Amara Capital; Regan Walsh, Chief Renegade Officer, Renegade Global; and Laura Lee Blake, President and CEO, Asian American Hotel Owners Association. They shared their journeys and challenges reaching the highest levels of their fields and offered advice on how to break through that glass ceiling. Breakout sessions featured topics such as side hustles – which have increased in popularity since the pandemic – characteristics of successful women, tips on public speaking and networking and the power and enrichment of giving back through community involvement.

The top advice for women's advancement:

  • Be heard. Have a voice.
  • Be authentic and be YOU.
  • Be fearless, bold and brave. Take risks.
  • Tout successes with confidence.
  • Stay true to your values, vision and passion.
  • Be comfortable being uncomfortable.

Recent research revealed that the hospitality industry is slowly progressing toward women in leadership, and statistics forecast a trend toward increased diversity. According to the 2022 Castell Project' Women in Hospitality Industry Leadership' report, women are reaching the highest levels in hotel companies (CEO, President, and Founder). Although still disproportionate, women now hold one leadership position for every 10.3 men, an improvement from one to 11.2 in 2019. Meanwhile, at the manager and director levels, women now hold one in two hospitality spots and one in six at the VP/SVP/EVP level. However, there is more work to do.

Red Roof will continue to lead the hospitality industry in providing inspiration, support and tools for women's continued advancement to reach the highest levels.