I stay consistently at Marriott properties because I feel secure when travelling alone. However, when my husband accompanies me I have noticed that, despite the fact that the Platinum card and my Marriott credit card are in my name, the associates always direct communication directly to my husband. It is as if he earned the points and pays the credit card bill. As a woman that has owned her own company for years and worked hard for it I am a little offended when my presence is nearly ignored in favor of the male in attendance. This has happened with both male and female associates and I do bring it gently to their attention. Has anyone else noticed this or am I just staying at the wrong properties?
I am truly sorry for your bad experiences. I should clarify that it is not that I haven't experienced sexism in many instances in my life and I certainly believe that you have had the treatment you mentioned when checking into Marriott (and probably other) hotels. Sometimes I'm just so tired when checking in that I dismiss any less than perfect attention to my exhaustion and not to the desk clerks. A little off the subject, but still somewhat relevant in relating to sexism in general. Back in the early '70s when I wanted to open a joint bank account with my new husband and use my maiden name, wow, was I ever given a hard time. It was only through many weeks and much insisting that it came about. Of course, now, it is a non-issue for women and they can make their own choice.
I applaud you for the ability to 'gently bring it to their attention' when an associate acts in the inappropriate mannner you have described. I remember that with two different companies I had taken over I had hired female CFO's (because they were best qualified for the task). I always involved them in meetings where financial matters were a possible discussion point. Bankers, I found, were the worst offenders in that when asking a financial question they would direct it to me instead of the female who was the CFO. I could certainly answer the question, but would, at first, hand off the question to the CFO. As time went on, I began to ask them....and not in a nice way.... why they were asking me and not the one responsible for the input they desired. They eventually got the not so subtle hint that their 'attitude' was out of bounds. I can't say why this happens, but I do know you are right in that it does....and it shouldn't.
Greetings ~ coming from a woman's perspective - and one brought up with a heavy feminist influence - I couldn't agree more with your frustration. Do you think there will ever be a time when we can say that all people are treated equally? At Marriott, we require that every line associate completes diversity training...some are plainly better at it than others. I'll suggest to our Global Learning team that we push out a reminder. Thanks for staying!
I can tell you that things have improved so much since my early corporate days which is why I am very offended when it does show itself so strongly. I truly hope that someday gender will no longer be an issue in our world but we do have a little farther to go before we can say that. Thanks for taking the time to reply.
TEF6178 My worst experiences were back in the 80's when I owned and was CEO of a software company in the early days of Silicon Valley. Left 3 banks over the issue you discussed. If I had my male CFO with me in a meeting with bankers I was invisible to all. When I would pull my business from a bank for that reason I would explain the reason to the offending parties and then send a letter to their board of directors. I walked away from a VERY LARGE contract once because the management team from the other company was all male, all foreign born and were just plain rude to me as a woman. I truly believe things are much better now but when I do run across this type of attitude it still makes me very unhappy. Thank you for being aware of these types of slights and standing up for what was right.
Designdeva - I can't believe that I missed your initial post. I fully understand your frustration and have seen it as well when my traveling companion and I need something from the front desk. If we go down together, and she approaches the desk to ask a question, in many instances the desk clerk looks to me, even if I have "hung back." It's something that she has commented on to me ("I feel as if I'm just along for the ride") and I can't I blame her for feeling that way.
To be fair, I'm not sure that it's being done purposefully, but in a sense, that makes it even more difficult to address. An ingrained habit/prejudice, or call what you will, that is done automatically is harder to break than a purposeful action which, once the problems with it are explained and understood, can be more easily kept in mind, and thus corrected.
From a man, all I can say is keep fighting the good fight - I wish you didn't have to any more. After all, we're in the 21st century - I though such consciousness was raised in the 1970's!
Thank you so much for the reply. Sorry I missed it when it was published. Your acknowledgement of this problem is appreciated. I actually had one insider tell me anyone could find a problem if they looked hard enough. Your wife is a fortunate women to have someone that is aware and sensitive to this type of issue.
Thanks for your comments. Frankly, I have been impressed by the way I see ladies treated at the properties I've stayed at. The security of Marriott's has to be a factor that is important to lady travelers. Likewise, the overall constancy of Marriott's special.
There are a lot more ladies traveling these days, so I hope Marriott listens to you.