Hotel Technology Summit Addresses the Women Role in Hospitality Finance and Technology
Posted on November 16, 2016

Women are traditionally underrepresented in the hospitality industry, especially in finance and technical positions and at leadership levels. Yet, HR specialists claim that there is no prejudice against hiring women for leadership roles. So why are most Financial and IT leadership roles occupied by men?

Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals (HFTP) – the leading global hospitality association and organisers of HITEC, hosted the second day of 20th edition of the Hotel Technology Summit in Dubai, organised by Naseba, a business facilitation company.

The summit kicked off with an introductory remarks by Frank Wolfe, Chief Executive Officer at HFTP, followed by an opening tech talk focused on exploring the technological innovations and IT solutions that are integrated with and complimenting accounting system. Arlene Ramirez, Global Immediate Past-President at HFTP, painted a positive picture for hoteliers to benefit from the innovations in accounting and financial management within hospitality industry.

The first panel discussed on what keeps Finance Directors and Revenue Management heads up at night. The panelists noted that most Financial and Revenue Management Executives are faced with challenges such as ineffective investments, budget constraints, missed reporting deadline and low speed and accuracy of decision-making. The discussion benefited from the input of top notch financial leaders like Tarek Lotfy, Regional Director of Revenue Management at Golden Tulip MENA; Sujoy Banerjee, Director of Finance at Oberoi Hotels & Resorts; and Sanjay Nadkarni, Director of Research at The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management. A talk show on “Women in hospitality finance and technology” addressed the main challenges faced by women within the finance and technology areas of hospitality and explored opportunities the industry opens up to them.

The talk show speakers include Arlene Ramirez, Global Immediate Past-President at HFTP; Nancy Wolff, Vice President – Hotel Systems at Jumeirah Group; and Dinara Rafikova, Complex Director of Finance at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Series of interactive think tank sessions allowed experts to delve into key topics such as ten things that a Director of Finance should ask when hiring a consultant, and unleashing the potential of Big Data by Frank Wolfe, Chief Executive Officer at HFTP, Lyle Worthington, Global President at HFTP; and Sanjay Nadkarni, Director of Research at The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management.

Many hospitality leaders gathered to support and applaud for various Smart Hotel Awards this year, where exceptional individuals and organisations were recognised for their achievements across a variety of categories including Best in-room automation system won by Emirates Palace Hotel; Best use of Cloud Service won by TIME Oak Hotel & Suites; Best booking experience won by Corp Executive Hotel; and Best Smart Hotel won by The Torch Doha.

After the awards ceremony, Frank Wolfe announced that the first edition of HITEC Dubai will be hosted in 2017. “HFTP is pleased to continue its successful alliance with Naseba, and we are confident that combining experience and resources from two global associations will result in a highly effective event that will be of value to industry professionals located in the Middle East as well as the hospitality technology industry at large," said Wolfe.

This was followed by a networking business lunch and open business meetings which incorporated live product demonstrations by leading technology solution providers. The 20th Hotel Technology Summit was sponsored by Ateco, Nawatt, Xn protel systems, Akamai Technologies, Idiso, Al Maria, MCOM, Network International, Pagero and Infor.