We had the good fortune of connecting with Annaliese Settles and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Annaliese, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
This is a really important question to answer. After the pandemic, in the hospitality industry, there’s a huge gender gap; it’s what we call a “she-session”. There is a significantly large lack of staff and an even larger lack of compensation. Before the pandemic, women were joining the workforce at a faster rate than men were and the gender gap began to close however, now women account for less than half of the new jobs supplied in the US economy this past year. With women as the primary care giver, most of the time, it can be really difficult for them to take the time away from a child to go to an interview. My main goal is to do what I can to aid in closing the gender gap in the hospitality industry. I intend to use donations to Women in Hospitality, inc. to help those that cannot afford child care with the hope that they will be able to go to an interview, get a job, and pay for the child care needed to continue their career. I also intend to use donations to aid young women that are studying hospitality in order further their education. With a degree in hospitality, this will allow women entering the workforce to apply to higher paid positions.

What should our readers know about your business?
Women in Hospitality initially started as just a networking source for women in the hospitality industry however, I recently turned it into a nonprofit
organization. I touched briefly in the first question about WIH’s primary
goals. With this initiative I hope to promote great opportunities for those
in need. With access to the right resources, people can become empowered by
their own abilities and gain the confidence to fulfill their full potential.
I truly want to make a difference in the hospitality industry for women
specifically because I don’t know where I would be without a strong female
role model. I want young women to have the same mentality that I do and
believe that they can do whatever they set their mind to. I hope to see more
women in leadership positions, and I am excited to meet notable women along
the way. I really enjoy interviewing women in the industry and sharing their
story to hopefully inspire someone to keep persevering. I’ve been in the
hospitality industry, what feels like, my whole life since I grew up
surrounded by it. Working in the family business can have a lot of added
pressure because you want to make sure you live up to everyone’s
expectations of you. I worked in hotels for 5 years prior to working with my
family to hopefully gain the respect of my peers and I also received a
Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant management from the University
of Houston Hilton College. I feel that my background has helped me
understand, to the best of my ability, what it is like for women in the
hospitality workforce; that is why I am so passionate about providing relief
for those that need it through Women in Hospitality. I want nothing more
than to close the gender gap in the hospitality industry and I intend to do
so. I’ve seen firsthand that women are more empathetic towards guests and
know how to resolve conflicts in the front and back of the house. We also
have more patience than men do and, in this industry, you need a lot!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a native Houstonian, which is something I feel like I can brag about now because it seems like no one is from here anymore, so I know this city
pretty well. Whenever my friends come to visit me, I make sure we hit all
the “musts”. For me, a huge part of that is food. Not only restaurants, but
also grocery stores. Towards the beginning of the week, I would plan a
dinner for us to cook together at home and then take them to Central Market
because you can just go crazy there. I’m not a huge fan of the Galleria
because its so crowded, but obviously I would have to take them there if
they had never been. Thursdays are my days I start to get in weekend mode
and I love to go to Armando’s because they clear the tables and have Javi
Moreno DJ till about midnight and it’s the best time. Anyone that knows me
knows that I’m a big fan of disco music. For fitness, I’m at Barry’s
bootcamp everyday so you’ll definitely find us there during the week at
5:30pm. My favorite thing to do on a Saturday is go to Barry’s in the
morning with friends, get ready in the locker room and then walk across the
street to B19 and spend a good 2 hours there enjoying the outside. I have
too many favorite restaurants to name all of them, but I would never let a
friend come visit me without taking them to MF sushi. Houston has so many
things to do, but our new addition to the MFAH is a must. They just brought
back their happy hours on Thursdays and you can enjoy free admission too! I
could go on forever, but Houston is a great place to call home.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I feel so fortunate to have such supportive people in my life. My parents are most definitely the coolest people I know and have taught me never to care what others think. They gave me such a great mentality about life and always made sure that I felt I could do whatever I wanted to. My mom is the most patient and hardworking person out there and she started her own company at 25, where we now work together. She’s my mentor, support system, best friend, role model and not to mention, the best boss I could ever ask for. Everyone that’s close to me in my life deserves credit because they’ve shaped me to be the person I am.

Website: https://www.women-in-hospitality.com/ ; https://www.luxuryres.com/

Instagram: annaliesettles; women_in_hospitality

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/annaliese-settles-9521a177

Image Credits
Smirkn Photo Booth

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