ForWard Annual Conference

The event that started it all

The ForWard initiative launched in 2018 as an annual conference to recognize the women of the hospitality industry and champion the next generation of leaders. Since then, it has grown to be the industry’s largest annual event dedicated to highlighting female leaders and pathways to leadership in hospitality.

ForWard Conference 2024: “Right the Narrative”

Check out highlights from the 2024 Conference in Chicago!

A transformative experience for female leaders

Whether you attend on your own or with a larger group from your organization, ForWard is sure to leave a lasting impact. You’ll hear from impactful headline speakers like Sheila Johnson of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, Reshma Saujani CEO of Girls Who Code and TIME Hero of the Year, Katy Kay, journalist at BBC World News America, and countless other industry leaders. Plus, you’ll get access to action-oriented and career building breakouts as well as fun and invaulable networking.



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The AHLA Foundation’s BUILD & ELEVATE programs accelerate the advancement of women in executive leadership. Participating women develop a foundation for career success through a year-long curriculum of skills-based workshops, career coaching and leadership coursework targeting five areas of knowledge including: executive presence, negotiation, advocacy, career development, networking.

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ForWard Network

The ForWard Network (formerly Ambassador Program) is open to AHLA members working in the hospitality industry that are passionate about the mission of ForWard. Participation in the network is not limited to any professional level or company type. Network members will actively support the implementation of ForWard initiatives under the guidance of the ForWard Advisory Committee.

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The ForWardThinking Speaker Series helps hospitality students envision future career opportunities by highlighting the multitude of career resources and pathways the hospitality industry offers. During each session, panelists illustrate their varied career paths, leadership roles and family lives, and engage students in small group discussions that open the door to future networking opportunities.

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ForWard Advisory Committee

AHLA Foundation’s ForWard Advisory Committee unites female senior executives to provide strategic guidance and mentorship, and to help ForWard grow and expand throughout the industry.

Support ForWard’s mission through sponsorship

All ForWard programming supports AHLA Foundation’s mission to mentor, educate, and lead individuals to the next level of their career. Reinforce your organization’s commitment to advancing women in hospitality by sponsoring our Annual Conference.