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Our Story

Recognizing the gender disparity at every level of the hospitality community, leading entrepreneurs and executives from Las Vegas’ food and beverage industry established the Women’s Hospitality Initiative (WHI) in late 2019. Situated in a global dining and hospitality hotspot, WHI is dedicated to forging a pathway for women's leadership through training, advocacy, and essential business and management skills.

On February 18, 2020, WHI debuted with a screening of “A Fine Line”, a renowned documentary by director Joanna James at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The event was highlighted by an interactive panel and a culinary celebration.

WHI's momentum following its launch was met with unforeseen challenges as the pandemic necessitated a temporary pause in operations. Despite the hiatus, the organization persevered, launching its bachelor’s-level course, "From the Classroom to the Boardroom: Leadership for Women in Hospitality" at institutions such as the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Florida International University; San Diego State University; and the Culinary Institute of America by 2021's end. Further expanding its educational reach, WHI rolled out the ProStart course in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2022.


WHI is inclusive of men and women who want a better culture for all, dedicated to the research, education, and support of women in hospitality. We are committed to developing and implementing programs that help empower women to reach their full leadership potential.

The Facts:

apprentice chef photo

Nearly 50% of the graduates of the Culinary Institute of America are women yet less than 7% of head chefs and restaurant owners in America are women

Las Vegas is a premier entertainment and hospitality destination that sees more than 42 million visitors annually

(Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 2018) 

Nevada’s tourism, gaming, and entertainment sectors employ nearly 431,000 people statewide

(Office of Economic Development, 2018)

In 2019, Food & Beverage revenue is likely to surpass casino revenue for MGM Resorts

(Forbes, November 5, 2019) 

Ingredients For Our Success:
  • Conduct research through partnership and collaboration

  • Provide fact-based educational curriculum to emerging women leaders in hospitality from the high school level, all the way into the workforce

  • Provide networking, mentorship, advocacy and community support 

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