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Opportunities and challenges exist at all levels across all fields and industries, regardless of gender: Moushumi Chopra

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Moushumi Chopra, regional VP – legal, Hyatt India, in conversation with Akshay Nayak, voices that there has been a significant shift in the hospitality industry in terms of the inclusivity of women in leadership roles, in the last few years 

How has the hospitality industry changed over years in terms of the inclusivity of women at leadership roles?
While there is a consistent focus within the hospitality industry on gender diversity across all levels, there has been a significant shift in the hospitality industry in terms of the inclusivity of women in leadership roles, in the last few years.

What challenges and opportunities do you face holding the leadership role?
Opportunities and challenges exist at all levels across all fields and industries, regardless of gender. Of course, there may be certain challenges that are unique to women, however organisations and businesses have since quite some time now become aware of the need for gender sensitisation with a focus on addressing the needs of women in the workplace. The hospitality industry has evolved to address the needs of women and provide them an equal and safe playing field. At an individual level, one has to be conscious about doing the right thing. As an effective leader, one needs to be able to resolve challenges and recognise opportunities.
With [email protected], Hyatt’s business resource group connecting colleagues around the globe, creates initiatives and events that focus on enhancing the workplace in ways that position Hyatt to be the preferred brand for women. This has facilitated career planning for women and female leadership development.
I would say that for me, a challenge and opportunity both has been to work across and with people from multiple disciplines. In my role as a lawyer in the hospitality industry, I often have the opportunity to interact with colleagues across different departments. Not only has this helped broaden my horizons but it also helped shape my perspective on several issues thereby helping in my taking a pragmatic and holistic view of issues.

How do you manage work-life balance?
I always try to keep myself focused on whatever I am engaged in, and this definitely helps in getting things done much faster and better. I also try to engage in outdoor activities as much as possible. In my view, one has to always make a deliberate decision to take time out for themselves to maintain that balance in their lives.

What steps have you considered to break the glass ceiling?
As I perceive it, women do not want to be treated differently or be given special treatment but they do want to be treated the same as men i.e. equal opportunity for both. The Constitution of India also enshrines the right to equality.
I have always believed that one should always have faith in oneself, stand up for what one thinks is right and should follow one’s beliefs.

Your mantra to keep yourself motivated and empower more women to join the hospitality force.
To keep myself motivated, I often self-reflect and exercise introspection to get my thoughts in order. I also enjoy my work and that in itself keeps me motivated. I do think that sharing one’s story and experiences with others and learning from their experiences can be helpful for some to feel motivated. My message to all the women would be to not hesitate to speak your mind if you perceive a wrong-doing to yourself or others, celebrate and support each other, recognise talent, and constantly work hard towards honing your skills. Most importantly, enjoy what you do and do what you enjoy.

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