The American Hotel & Lodging Association, the AHLA Foundation and the Castell Project today announced a merger in which Castell will officially become part of the AHLA’s own charitable foundation.
The Castell Project’s mission primarily has been to promote the presence and advance the seniority of women in the hospitality industry. The organization has tracked the progress of women-led leadership roles through industry reports and has worked to elevate more women to speaking and podium positions at industry conferences. More recently, Castell has extended its purview to other diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, looking also at representation and prevalence of Black people in senior leadership positions in the hospitality industry.
Castell’s 2022 Women in Hospitality Leadership report released in February showed that women hold only one leadership spot for every 10.3 men. Its Black Representation in Hospitality Industry Leadership released earlier this month showed a decline since 2019 in Black representation as depicted on 671 hospitality industry websites, despite an increase in actual representation at the executive level in hospitality companies.
With the merger, each party is committing to strengthening efforts like these and extending their reach.
“Women are critical to our industry—as the owners, leaders, workforce, and guests of today and in the future,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA as part of the announcement, first made public at the Hunter Hotel Conference today. “As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we also celebrate Castell’s efforts to advance women leaders and owners in hospitality. We welcome them to the AHLA family, and together we will be stronger as we continue advancing women in the industry.”
Castell Project founder and chair Peggy Berg, said in a statement, “Joining forces with the AHLA and AHLAF will bring reach and strength to Castell’s work, opening leadership in hospitality to women and people of color. We are excited to be engaging in this important work with the team at both organizations.”