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Gender discrimination and perceived fairness in the promotion process of hotel employees

Michelle Russen (Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA)
Mary Dawson (Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA)
Juan M. Madera (Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 21 January 2021

Issue publication date: 22 January 2021

3228

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine hotel managers’ perspectives on the promotion process of hotel employees based on the promoted employee’s gender, their perceived organizational justice and perceived gender discrimination against women. The moderating role of anti-male bias beliefs in the promotion process was examined.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted an experimental design (female vs male promoted) with a sample of 87 hotel managers. Data were analyzed using mediation and moderated mediation analyses.

Findings

The results indicated procedural and distributed justice mediates the effect of gender of the promoted employee on perceived gender discrimination against women. It was found that perceptions of anti-male bias moderate the relationship between gender of the promoted employee and distributed justice, demonstrating higher levels of perceived fairness within the organization when a female is promoted, especially when low levels of anti-male bias exist.

Practical implications

Many organizations may refrain from offering more promotional opportunities to women for fear of reverse discrimination. This research demonstrates that the organization will be perceived as fairer if it offers more opportunities to women, should create a stronger organizational culture and higher financial performance.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first to address the gender inequity in promotional opportunities of hotel employees and demonstrate the overall benefit of combating such inequality. This is the first time that anti-male bias has been addressed in the hospitality context, suggesting the need for more research on reverse discrimination, especially in promotional situations.

Keywords

Citation

Russen, M., Dawson, M. and Madera, J.M. (2021), "Gender discrimination and perceived fairness in the promotion process of hotel employees", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 33 No. 1, pp. 327-345. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-07-2020-0647

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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