We don’t need to tell you about amazing women you know loads of them. You’ve met many; a Mum, a sister, a wife or a friend. Or maybe you have cheered one on a sports pitch or applauded one on stage or screen. Great women are all around us and at an age where we are no longer just talking about women development but also women led-development, we at Serena Hotels celebrate the incredible work our women staff continue to do. They are working in groundbreaking careers previously dominated by male, they are the reason our guests stay happy from the moment they arrive to when they check out and they continue to do so with a smile on their face. Meet a few of our amazing women!
The Magical Joyce (Joyce Kiboro, Nairobi Serena Hotel)
She is the face of the front office department at Nairobi Serena Hotel. The darling of many if not all guests. Always ready to help solve any issue at the front desk. Her smile is the medicine to all tense situations whenever they occur. Her prompt responses and articulation of matters have made her the best team player in the organization. Despite the challenges in the hospitality industry, she has risen above all odds to be the Assistant Front Office Manager. “With determination, focus and hard work you will surely make it” says Joyce.
“You only need to love your job; that is the only way you get to stay for long in this industry. Even though there are many challenges, passion should drive you. Having worked in Housekeeping department of Nairobi Serena Hotel since 1984, I have managed to survive this far because I love what I do. It may be tough at times but I keep soldering on because this is where I have built my life. Challenges have always been there and they will always be there but what matters is how you face them. I have gained lots of experience in both in my life and career. I now have one year left before I retire and I have no regrets at all being part of Serena Hotels specifically the Housekeeping department of Nairobi Serena Hotel.”
Best views in the wild (Jamila Njoki, Mara Serena Safari Lodge)
“The best part of my job is seeing the look of wonder on our guests faces upon arrival. I work in guest relations at Mara Serena Safari lodge, meaning i have the first contact with the guest. And thanks to my job, i get to experience our guests first reactions. You see, Mara Serena has the best views in the Mara Triangle, and after a long drive to the lodge, the last thing guests expect to see the stretching panoramic views. But once they get into the lobby and they can see far into the Mara plains, including the animals by the Mara river, then the pains of the journey are rolled away. Honestly, there is no better feeling and sight. Apart from that, Serena has been like a family to me, and thanks to this job, I have been able to bring up my family. Not to mention getting to share the best of Kenya with them”
One of the boys (Rose Jacob, Selous Serena Hotel)
#Pressforprogress is the theme for this year’s International women’s day and no one embodies this better than Rose Jacob, the masseur at Selous Serena Camp. Due to it’s remoteness deep in the Selous, the largest game reserve in Africa, there are not many ladies that get or are willing to work that far. But not Rose. As the only lady among 63 other staff all being male, self driven and motivated, Rose has made it a personal mission to thrive in her field, to offer the best of herself to the guests doing it with high professionalism and working hard to beat the odds. She is not letting the environment deter her from pursuing her dreams.
“While at school, I realized that I had a good handle on maths and physics, particularly solving problems. Discovering how things worked was both fascinating and enjoyable so when I learnt that as an engineer I could find some of those answers, it naturally felt like the right choice for me. The following years were tough. During my final year in college, I had to juggle both school and a part time job. I knew that it was worth making these sacrifices if it meant landing a good job in the end. I made a conscience decision from the start that my gender wouldn’t be the reason for failing and that if I was to compete in an industry with just a 2.5 per cent female workforce while meeting the minimal requirements for recruiters, I needed to stand out… I needed to be unique. So I immersed myself in studying, took a second part time job after I completed so as to increase my field of experience. I have made amazing friends; both staff and guests, learnt so much so I have no doubt that indeed as a female engineer, I am destined to excel”
It’s all about the people (Neema Msuya, Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge)
“What i enjoy the most out of my job in waitressing is that it gives you a first hand lesson in the importance of what we give to others. It’s taken for granted, but a waitress is the person who listens to all your wants and needs, makes sure they happen, and gives you a vital element of survival: food. The realization that I’m only as successful as the quality of what I offer to others has helped me grow in every way: as a person and as a member of society”