Challenges in Recruiting and Retaining Women in Five-Star Hotels, Sri Lanka


  • Panchali Yasarathne
  • John Dunning


Recruiting, Retention, Challenges, Women, Hospitality


This study focuses on the challenges faced in recruiting and retaining women in five-star hotels in Sri Lanka. While women make up a significant portion of the workforce in the hospitality industry, they are underrepresented in many positions in Sri Lanka. This paper aims to identify the barriers that contribute to this disproportion and identify potential solutions. The research is based on a mixed-methods approach that involves surveys and interviews with women employees and managers in five-star hotels in Sri Lanka. The findings suggest that there are several challenges that hinder the recruitment and retention of women within the overall industry, including cultural norms, biases, and lack of flexibility in work arrangements. Additionally, women face barriers related to employment strategies and negative perceptions held by the society, as well as a lack of support from their family members and spouses. To address these challenges, this paper proposes several recommendations, such as implementing diversity and inclusion training programs, offering flexible work arrangements, promoting mentoring, and networking programs, and providing equal opportunities for employment and training. These recommendations aim to improve the recruitment and retention of women in the hospitality industry in Sri Lanka, which can benefit both the individual employees and the industry.