A housewife for most of her life, Mdm Phang Foo Thye (pictured above) went to Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay for an interview at 75. Today the 79-year-old is a role model for younger employees with her reliable and responsible work ethic.
Despite being worried she was too old for the job, Mdm Phang went ahead with the interview. “However, AccorHotels welcomed me to join them and told me that age didn’t matter as long as I could work and contribute,” recalls Mdm Phang.The part-time kitchen assistant, who lives with her grandchildren in Bedok, says age is not a barrier when it comes to work and feels that working has been beneficial for her mind and body.
“I love working here. I get to do many things, and it is like a form of exercise for me. It keeps me active and healthy even in old age,” she says. “In the past, if I had walked in the rain, I’d have to see a doctor. After starting work, I find that I’m less prone to illness.”Ms Lee Mooi Agnes, (pictured above) 66 years old uses a smartphone, connects with family and friends on Facebook and cycles. Ms Lee, who works in F&B at Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy, is a positive, committed and hardworking team member, respected by her superiors and younger colleagues.
‘‘I enjoy working here as AccorHotels is supportive of mature workers and has taken very good care of me. I have never felt that I was treated unfairly due to my age. I have learnt a lot from the job and also from the younger staff – I have learnt how to use a smartphone and now even Facebook,’’ grinned Ms Lee.
Though Ms Lee stays in Yishun and has to take three buses before reaching the hotel, the journey has never dampened her passion for the job. To keep fit and healthy, she cycles to the bus stop near her home before catching public transport to the hotel.
“I was on leave for two days recently and had back pain. However, once I was back to work, the back pain miraculously went off. Working keeps me fit,’’ she added.
AccorHotels supports women in whichever role they are in with equal work opportunities and celebrates International Women’s Day to thank women for their support. A Zumba and Yoga class has been organised in celebration of this occasion.Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of AccorHotels was invited by the UN to speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year as a Global Impact Champion. He appeared alongside UN Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson and the brains behind the UN’s HeForShe campaign, Elizabeth Nyamayaro to show how corporations can help drive gender equality. AccorHotels is one of just ten companies selected by UN Women as one of the champion corporations of the HeForShe - IMPACT 10x10x10 pilot initiative, thanks to the group’s commitment to gender parity.
“I am absolutely convinced that women should be free to have fulfilling careers and be given the same opportunities as men,” said Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of AccorHotels. “As CEO of AccorHotels, I know that we have the resources and capacity to bring about real change.”
AccorHotels’ selection for the campaign follows the creation in 2012 of WAAG (Women At AccorHotels Generation), its internal gender diversity network, and the signature, in January 2015, of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) upheld by UN Women and the UN Global Compact.
WAAG is a motivated network to inspire women to evolve within AccorHotels. In its fight against stereotypes, the Group leverages on this platform to reach its gender equality goal as well as provide a network of solidarity and support to share experiences.
In AccorHotels Asia Pacific, women in the business thrive from the strong support of their male counterparts. For example, in each region, there is a WAAG Champion and in India, the Champion is a male General Manager which is a testament of the strong support of men in the group towards their women colleagues.
AccorHotels Asia Pacific offers various platforms for women to put themselves forward and achieve their leadership ambitions.
Changing mentalities in the hotel sector
As a member of the HeForShe movement, AccorHotels has also committed to changing mentalities in the hospitality industry by paying particular attention to female guests. Though the share of women travellers staying in its hotels increased from 26% to 34% between 2000 and 2013*, the hotel chain sector remains tailored by men for men. For this reason AccorHotels is currently conducting a survey in partnership with IPSOS** that clearly demonstrates that women, regardless of their culture, have their own expectations regarding all hotel segments. 90% of them consider an offer specially designed for women as innovative. As early as 2013, upscale brand MGallery, had developed Inspired by Her, an offer specifically tailored for women.