Are we as open and inclusive as we could be in the spa and wellness industry? Or are we stuck in our ways? These are questions I hear people in this industry asking lately. They are also questions that Patrick Huey, Corporate Spa Director at Montage, addresses when he talks about the need for more diversity in our sector.
Huey, who is on Spa Executive’s cover this month, told us that when it comes to diversity, “we have made great strides in educating the public about the importance of what we do, but we have not been able to have the ranks of our leaders reflect the changing demographics of our world.”
In his insightful interview, Huey talked with us about where this lack is heaviest in spa and wellness, including at the leadership level and in marketing, and also about how this has a negative impact on business and revenue.
Huey is not the only person to notice this need for more diversity. Self Magazine recently called wellness an industry that “caters almost exclusively to white, wealthy people,” while Essence lamented that, “We [women of color] remain underrepresented in the wellness space with few brands highlighting diversity, and even fewer speaking to us about our specific challenges.”
At Spa Executive, we think this is worth exploring further in the future.
Openness and inclusion aren’t limited to diversity. They’re themes that run throughout our other interviews with Eric Stephenson, of Elements Massage, and Stephanie Rest, of Caribbean WE, both of whom we spoke with about recruiting, retaining, and managing team members.
In a conversation about employee recruitment and retention, Rest talked about the “need to get out there, be more open, and encourage people to join our tribe,” and about the space for mentorship programs in the sector. And Stephenson, while discussing workplace drama in spa, talked about the need for unconditional support and clear communication. While not always specifically mentioning “inclusion,” it’s a part of the conversation. We’re talking about support, communication, and actively drawing people together – all of which are related to openness and inclusivity – which also refer to embracing new ideas, new technologies, and developments in wellness-related scientific research.
These interviews provide those new ideas and food for thought that can help us all build relationships and improve our business practices.
Are we as open and inclusive as we could be? Or could we do better?
Read our fourth issue here: