Increasing the number of women in leadership roles requires everyone’s support, according to Karl Hudson, Area Vice President (Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar) at Marriott International.
“We need more men to understand the value of women-led conferences and participate fully in tackling the inherently biased corporate culture and the challenges facing women” said Hudson.
He believes that the women-led effort to propel more women into leadership roles need to include men in equal measure in the fight to dismantle the “boys club” culture in numerous corporate environments.
“It’s a societal problem and you don’t solve things by (just focusing on the women’s role)” he added.
Hudson who was the keynote speaker at Marriott’s 4th Women in Leadership Conference in Shenzhen, China recently, said it was eye-opening for him to find the participants comprised mostly women and only about 10 men.
“In my opinion, we should have equal numbers, for example 150 men and 150 women to allow them to contribute, get an understanding of each other and come to a solution,” he said.
During the conference, Hudson said he committed to bringing 10 male General Managers to participate in next year’s conference to generate greater awareness of the issues and to fully participate in crafting possible strategies in their respective roles.
He said that unfortunately he still encounters negative attitudes and push back from senior male leaders when he discusses women-focused conferences and events.
“That’s why I feel the whole organization needs to definitely get behind these as well,’’ he added.
He said that the company was very committed to their diversity and inclusion goals for the company and was careful to ensure the best candidate was selected for a position job.
“We should still put the best candidate forward. We don’t wish to just blindly fill the position try to achieve our (D&I) targets,” he said.