The dynamic and fast paced hospitality industry is as demanding as it is inspiring and exciting. Only those with a passion for hospitality, people and service will thrive. For women, it can be especially challenging to juggle a career in hospitality with family. At The Table Bay, where a number of employees are female, there are women who are getting the balance right and climbing the ranks in what is still considered a man’s world.
“Compared to twenty or thirty years ago, more women are achieving senior roles in hotels as the industry becomes more aware of women’s abilities to lead and their communication capabilities. “The hospitality and entertainment industry is an exciting one, with numerous and diverse career opportunities. It is important to us that we continue to attract and retain people with a passion for the industry. We also remain committed to increasing the number of women we have in our ranks,” says Joanne Selby, General Manager at The Table Bay.
Here is advice from The Table Bay’s leading Food and Beverage ladies for young women who are considering a career in hospitality:
Margeaux Pereira, Lounge Manager at Sun International’s five star The Table Bay hotel at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront says, “Hospitality is not for the faint of heart. One needs to be as dynamic and fast paced as the industry. Explore and keep an open mind in finding your niche on this career path.” She has been part of The Table Bay family for three and a half years and continues to be inspired by the people she meets. “My job allows me to meet people from all walks of life, and from across the globe. I love the cultural diversity, the authenticity and the uniqueness. It is important to keep the balance between work and home life as both are significant to your wellbeing,” says Pereira, who encourages young women considering a career in hospitality to study further. “Tertiary education is the key to fast tracking your career. Never stop learning and never stop challenging yourself.”
Laa’iqah Nordien, Restaurant Manager at The Table Bay, agrees: “Think carefully about the field of work you want to go into and match your studies to that, whether it is a diploma or a degree. Take every opportunity to learn as much as you can, accept criticism in good faith, act respectfully and never give up. Working in hospitality can be tough but the opportunities are endless. In the words of our General Manager, Joanne Selby, ‘you need to make a choice if you want a job or a career in this industry’.”
She believes that women have good communication skills that place them in good stead in the field of hospitality, where service is at the core. “But don’t be emotional. Instead be strong and confident, and don’t be afraid to speak up. Just do it with professionalism.” Nordien enjoys coming to work each day, “I love meeting new people, learning about different cultures and listening to their languages and beliefs. You have to love what you do. “It inspires me to continue improving myself to become a better person. I look at so many different women and see what they have achieved and accomplished in life and tell myself, ‘soon it will be your turn girl. Sacrifice and pray’.”
Jolene Booysen, Banqueting Manager at The Table Bay, says that hard work and determination will pave the way for great success. “Create options for yourself by taking every opportunity to learn. Go out and up skill yourself so that you have choices about what you want to do in life and what you want to earn. Don’t take no for answer. It can be difficult to be recognised as equal to men. But, with the right mindset, you can achieve anything you want to.”
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