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Male Ally of the Month: Glenn Haussman

Our “Male Ally of the Month” column focuses on the men going out of their way to support women in the hospitality industry. While we all know they don’t have to help, these guys want to help, and this column takes the time to find out how and why they are determined to help us reach gender equality.

You likely know Glenn Haussman from his top rated No Vacancy Live podcast and video site,  where for the last eight years he has interviewed the most notable names in the industry, covering all the major events, with the goal to educate and entertain listeners and viewers along the way. Glenn is also a sought-after event speaker, board member, consultant, and influencer who leverages his extensive knowledge and network to provide insights, trends, and business solutions for the hospitality and travel sectors. Recognized as one of the Top 100 Most Inspirational People in Global Hospitality, Glenn has been featured in USA Today, New York Times, Washington Post, and now hertelier!!  Meet a guy we love, our Mr. February, Glenn Haussman!

glenn haussman

How did you get into hospitality? 

Well, my first job in hospitality was in 1996 at Hotel Business Magazine. But prior to that, I was a music and entertainment writer working for a free giveaway magazine on Long Island. I had the opportunity to meet a lot of celebrities, none of which I personally liked, but I did like that the interviews took place in hotels, which was very exciting to me. So, I figured out a way to get into the hotel industry with a little maneuvering and a bit of luck too!!

You have certainly created an influential platform with No Vacancy, and thank you for aiming to have gender balance in your guests. As you have witnessed the progression of women to more c-suite roles over the last few years, how do you feel, what do you feel is enabling this change? 

I think that comes down to forward momentum in society, right? As women started to get more opportunities couple of decades ago, those opportunities are starting to be more fruitful with women achieving parody in positions with men in the industry. However, there’s still have a long way to go.

I think what's enabling this change is multifaceted. Number one, more women are focused on achieving these types of positions because of a shifting attitude about the role men and women in play in society. Secondly, I think we’ve generally become more open and willing to accept people other than that typical white male in leadership roles. 

It's fantastic society is moving in this direction. It's going to be better for all of us because with more disparate voices, companies can find better success. 

You have spoken with so many leaders and in innovators in the industry, where do you see new and or more opportunities for women in the hotel industry? 

I don’t know if there's new opportunities for women in the hotel industry as I don't really see women being prevented from any opportunity within the hotel industry. Amazing women are I leadership positions throughout the entire spectrum of hospitality, so I think it's more of a matter of figuring out what a person loves to do and then pursuing a course in that direction.

Right now, I do still see a lack of female leadership on the financial side of the business. So I think there's definitely a lot more opportunities on that side. Also, executive roles within management companies, those sorts of positions. However, I women also dominate in industry segments such as design, PR and sales and marketing, and more.  It feels to me we’ve entered an era of female empowerment where woman can do any job they want in hospitality but choose to enter specific sub segments on their own volition. 

What do you feel are still the barriers that women and the industry need to over overcome? 

I don't know if there's really many barriers that need to be overcome, although there is still the inherent human nature of people in positions of power to give people that look like them promotions. This unconscious bias is something all people in positions of power need to focus on so we can break free of the pattern of white men consistently giving other white men promotions.

You are a regular on the conference circuit. How do we get more women on the podium at these events? 

This is kind of a tricky situation. When conference organizers are putting together an event, their goal is to have as many people attend a conference as possible. That translates to putting together panel discussions featuring people with the most impressive titles as possible. Therefore, I believe this is not an issue of bias as much as much as a result of women not having access to attain top positions in many companies until more recently. The goal of conference organizers is to put people on panels with the most impressive titles to drive more event attendance.  That goes back to the original problem of needing to get more women in positions of power. The more C-suite female executives we see, the more we will see women represented on the podium. I love seeing panels with people on it that all happen to be women, rather than panels billed as “women’s panels.” 

What tips do you have for women who might be shy to put their hand up to speak at events? 

Get over it. Fact is, nearly all of us fear this. In fact, I used to be extremely shy and was way too concerned about what people would say if I spoke up both in the audience and on stage, but I had to get over it. I don’t mean to sound flippant, but speaking your opinion is hard. Especially if you’ve been consciously or unconsciously trained by society to be demure. Every one of us has issues we must figure out, deal with, and overcome. 

I think we’re all somewhat tortured by that inner voice that says no, you can’t do this. That voice is wrong and comes from a place of anxiety, not reality. Tell it to go away. Raise your hand, speak your thoughts. Your opinion is as valid as everyone else’s’.  

How about for men? What can they do to be better allies? 

Pay closer attention to what's going on with all people around you. This is about helping those that have yet to achieve. Us men must also constantly check for unconscious bias and appreciate the opportunities we’ve been given that may not have been afforded to others. Men must available to all younger people, encourage and mentor them and be sure to give folks that look different from us opportunity to be amazing.

You are a father. How do you balance your career and family time? 

I don't think there’s any way to really balance career and family time. I think we pretend we can but n reality, I think that it’s a load of bunk we can do that. There’s not one person I know – male or female – that can balance everything.  All of us have to make family sacrifices to achieve our professional goals, which is essential since we have to take care of family. And many times, if you’re in a relationship, certain responsibilities fall to one partner more than the other. My wife is an educator. She has a very important job in our society, but one that keeps her at home. This has allowed me the freedom to be able to go, pursue my career and provide financial support for my family, while she took the dominant role as parental care giver. If I didn’t have that support my career would have been extremely different.  

What's next for you? 

Well, I'm going to continue evolving in my career. I think it's very important for people to reinvent themselves at various times throughout their careers. For me, about every 10 years or so, I seem to  morph into a something different. Eight years ago, I started this company focusing on podcasts, videos and speaking engagements because I saw that content marketing was an area I thought I could excel. I was also lucky to see this trend early. As I get older and move into my later fifties. I think maybe I don't want to travel as much, so I must figure out how to challenge myself in a new way. Lately, I'm focused on turning my 30 years if industry insights into helping emerging and established companies understand the hospitality business. I’ve been focusing on attaining strategic advisory positions, board positions and things where I don't have to be constantly upfront and prominent on stage or on the microphone.

How many days a year are you on the road top travel hack?

I think I'm probably on the road about 150 days or so a year, give or take. Top travel hack though I'd say is about creating and sticking to routines. Do everything the same no matter what airport or hotel you’re in. I always put my headphones and glasses in specific pockets in my travel bag. I do this with everything I bring on the road or related to every typical task I must do. Room key, always goes in same place in wallet and I always put it back immediately after using. I've created a series of assurances that keep me focused on what I have to do, rather than how I’m going to do it. 

Uh, you're also a cat lover and I love when they make an appearance on No Vacancy! Are cats better pets than dogs?

All right, so I can't say that cats are better than dogs. Cats are different than dogs, and for the lifestyle that we have, cats fit into it a little bit better. I mean, I'd love to have a dog as I need friends rather than a cadre of creatures constantly giving me the evil eye; but two things prevent that. First, I'm gone half the year and that's not fair to dogs. And second, I live in a cold climate and I’m not thrilled at the idea of waking up at five in the morning in a chilly rain storm to walk the dog and then clean up poop. Love dogs, but my cats are superior because they ‘re self-sufficient. Plus my babies love their cuddles when I am home.

Anything else you want to add? 

I think everybody's destiny is up to them. We all have our own series of challenges and opportunities, and yes, I say this as a white male that’s probably had opportunity bestowed upon them. We all have the power to create something special for ourselves. And particularly in 2024, everything is open for everybody. Stop worrying about others, you can’t control them. Focus on turning your internal dialogue into a place of positivity and tackle the unique challenges you face with a problem-solving mindset. If I listened to my internal voice, I’d never have understood I could control my own destiny with the skills I create and the relationships I’ve fostered.  

Focus on turning your internal dialogue into a place of positivity and tackle the unique challenges you face with a problem-solving mindset. If I listened to my internal voice, I’d never have understood I could control my own destiny with the skills I create and the relationships I’ve fostered.  

Amen, Glenn! Thank you for being an ally and all your thoughtful advice!



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