Canadian resort CEO tells women to "go clean some rooms and do some dishes"

Mar 18 2022, 9:34 pm

A resort CEO in British Columbia has apologized and resigned from several boards after apparently telling female attendees at a conference to “go clean some rooms and do some dishes.”

Vivek Sharma, CEO of Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, was speaking at the British Columbia Tourism and Hospitality Conference held in Richmond, BC, on March 9.

Attendees at the conference say Sharma made sexist remarks at the podium.

Trina Mousseau, VP of Sales and Marketing at Accent Inns, posted the following tweets just after the CEO spouted the shocking words.

March 8 was International Women’s Day, and Sharma had asked the women in the audience to stand up to celebrate themselves. When they got up from their seats, he apparently said, “Go clean some rooms and do some dishes.”

As a result of the backlash directed towards Sharma, he penned an apology letter. The British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) posted it on their website as an “industry update.”

“I am very sorry and deeply regret the insensitive and inappropriate comments I made at the start of last week’s BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference,” he wrote. “Not only did my words cause distress for several women in the audience but I also offended many other delegates.”
He added that his comments do not reflect the views of the Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC) or the BCHA.

“As a result of my recent conduct, I have let down valued colleagues who love and care about me,” he said, before revealing that he chose to step down from the boards of both TIABC and BCHA “effective immediately.”

It is unclear what prompted Sharma to make the comments, but he said they “did not set the intended tone for the conference.”
Now, Sharma is “using this opportunity” to “learn and to contribute to making the tourism and hospitality sector a safer place and one that advances the values of equality and opportunity for women, youth, Indigenous peoples, immigrants, people with disabilities and other underrepresented groups in our society.”
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