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An exploration of female underrepresentation on executive boards in the Dutch hotel industry through an ethical lens

Diane Lereculey-Péran (Hotelschool the Hague, The Hague, The Netherlands)
Angelique Lombarts (Hotelschool the Hague, The Hague, The Netherlands)
David William Brannon (Hotelschool the Hague, The Hague, The Netherlands)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights

ISSN: 2514-9792

Article publication date: 17 January 2022

Issue publication date: 26 August 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper elucidates female underrepresentation on executive boards in the Dutch hotel industry through a “feminist” stakeholder perspective, which persists despite public opinion and government initiatives to resolve this enigma. It contributes to this discussion by examining Rhenish governance structures through a “feminist” stakeholder-focused rationale, complementing prevailing Anglo-Saxon shareholder-focused governance research.

Design/methodology/approach

Eleven in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with hotel executive board representatives and five with sublevel management representatives. Saturation was achieved by interviewing all females on Dutch hotel corporate boards regarding their career experiences compared with those of female general managers and male counterparts.

Findings

This paper finds a prevailing “masculinist” perspective of an idealized shareholder-orientated executive and a “feminist” perspective of a humanized stakeholder-orientated executive expressed within the interviews. While the former sacrifices family for their career, the latter balances their family with their career. The former fosters presupposed gender norms, with females commonly sacrificing their careers while males sacrifice their families. Notably, most executives predominantly supported the humanized stakeholder-orientated executive, while recognizing that micro-, meso- and macro-structural barriers remain.

Originality/value

This paper addresses a lacuna in the ethical literature in exploring female executive representation in Rhenish stakeholder-focused governance structures, as opposed to Anglo-Saxon shareholder-focused ones. It found a “masculinist” perspective of an idealized shareholder-focused executive archetype and a “feminist” perspective of a humanized stakeholder-focused executive archetype. Notably, contrary to perceived business norms, several interviewees rejected the former as it is incompatible with family and work, instead seeking the latter which balances between family and work.

Keywords

Citation

Lereculey-Péran, D., Lombarts, A. and Brannon, D.W. (2022), "An exploration of female underrepresentation on executive boards in the Dutch hotel industry through an ethical lens", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 713-733. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHTI-07-2021-0164

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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