Women IN Leadership Committee Members Reflect on 2022

Thank you to Barbara Scofidio for collating today's post! 

As many of us move into fall and winter of 2022 — a year that is certain to go down as one of the most difficult in many SITE members' careers — five members of SITE's Women IN Leadership Committee reflect on some of the biggest challenges they have faced and what they have learned. 

"Like many of my cohorts, I think the biggest difference from a year ago is a full return to work travel and in-person events. I had hoped that our industry’s return would be more joyful and more fun than it has turned out to be. High demand, inflation, labor struggles and supply chain issues seem to present hurdles at every turn. Now more than ever, it is critical to reach into your toolbox for strategies to address these challenges. What has been most helpful to me is revisiting past moments of adversity in my career and thinking through what I did to get out to the other side. I also remind myself that during life’s toughest times comes the most growth."Sarah Klimek, One10 Marketing

"2022 has started to see the return of residential groups, events and incentive businesses. This has bolstered cash flows and given confidence back to the hospitality industry. Many clients have shifted their mindset regarding Covid and have accepted that they can move forward with future contracts.

The biggest challenge continues to be the volume of work and a smaller workforce to support it. The infrastructure of the travel industry is suffering, such as fewer people to operate airports or flights, which is having a knock-on impact on booking/retaining business

The continued uncertainty of issues such as the war in Ukraine and tensions between Asia and the West are also causing concerns over travel.

On top of all this, the increase in the use of technology such as Teams and Zoom means people are very accessible and work-life balance continues to be a challenge."Ashton Kelly, Rosewood Hotels

"The good news is that travel is back and we are exceeding 2019 revenue! The challenge is the increase in lead volume, which started to rise sharply in Q1 and has remained steady. Our hotels are still working to fill key positions and return to pre-pandemic levels while managing an increase in costs. 2022 has been a juggling act."Michelle Mariani, Belmond

"The biggest challenge has been that we all (including me) have lost some grace and compassion. We are all working as hard and fast as we can — and it’s still not good enough. People are stretched thin, trying their best — yet we need them to work faster and harder. I wish we could all just take a breath, slow down for a moment, appreciate what others are doing, and treat people with more grace."Joanie Phillips, One10

"I think the biggest challenge is just the sheer volume of work. I think each one of us could work day and night and still not be caught up. It's interesting because you are thankful to be busy, but this pace is not sustainable. We are challenged in getting information or delivering the service we would expect due to the shortage of staff in nearly every area of our business. We can be empathetic, but our clients are struggling to understand. Costs, and therefore budgets, have skyrocketed and it is a constant explanation of the realities. Having been through several other significant impacts to our industry over the last four decades, you know that this too shall pass!  While in the middle of it, it may not seem so, but my promise to everyone is that it will get better. Hang on and remember why we are here and the incredible experiences we deliver for our clients and industry."Rhonda Brewer, Motivation Excellence

Written by

SITE Staff


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