Tatjana Ahmed, Housekeeping Manager, Grand Hyatt Dubai
Let me start by wishing all women a very happy International Women’s Day and congratulating them on their enormous achievements throughout the year.
The theme for the 2021 International Woman’s Day is #ChoosetoChallenge. And what a challenging year it has been since we last celebrated International Women’s day in 2020.
Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, we celebrate the women who have tirelessly contributed to fighting the pandemic and we need to highlight the role they play: at home, in hospitals, and in schools.
Protecting your loved ones from being infected needed more than just some anti-bacterial wipes. Homemakers, mothers, and caregivers had to take on additional roles in order to ensure that their family and the people around them were staying safe.
#ChoosetoChallenge also calls out to end gender bias and inequality around the world.
Yes, we want to see more women advance into the upper ranks of the cleaning industry, but we see little gender diversity up there.
Let me tell you, women tend to make especially good managers because, well, they are women. They possess unique social, communication and problem-solving skills. We also call it emotional intelligence. Managers must be good at communicating with all levels and types of people. They must be good listeners too and possess sophisticated communication and problem-solving skills. They also have to be masterful at managing time and juggling lots of balls. Women check the boxes in all of those categories.
To retain the best talent in the cleaning industry and elevate women of all different backgrounds, implementing best practices that support women in the workplace are of great help.
Here it is important to provide helpful tools. From implementing a formal mentoring program to offering access to professional development opportunities. In fact, mentored employees are five times more likely to be promoted. Network with like-minded people and get involved in industry-related events is a great tool too.
So what makes women uniquely qualified for the cleaning industry?
Strong self-awareness means an individual is in tune with how they feel, how their emotions affect their actions, and how their actions affect those around them. Self-aware people also have a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. These individuals make great leaders because they set realistic expectations and goals, know when and to whom to delegate responsibilities and understand the important role they play in the success of their employees and the organization.
A leader who can regulate their emotions and assess their actions objectively makes an ideal teacher and mentor because they rarely lash out or respond to situations irrationally. They also possess the soft skills necessary to maintain control of a situation. These attributes are important for employee growth and satisfaction.
But self-management is also an essential part of critical thinking. If emotional responses override a leader’s ability to make quick decisions and take immediate action, smaller issues have greater potential to become larger problems.
Ability to Empathize
Leaders must have excellent listening skills and the ability to see things from someone else’s perspective. This is especially true for female leaders, they ensure that their work environment adequately supports each employee.
Empathy supports the development of others by enabling leaders to provide thoughtful guidance and constructive feedback. Empathy also fortifies a company’s culture and employee loyalty, which directly impacts turnover and productivity rates.
Strong Social Skills
People with strong social skills are generally well-liked and great at communicating with all different types of people. From a leadership standpoint, this is an important quality.
Leaders must be worthy of following if they are to be successful. And managers in the cleaning industry are responsible for communicating with every level of an organization, including their management team, workforce, and third-party vendors. Their ability to balance these communications will determine the efficiency of their work environment.
Equal pay for work of equal value
Achieving gender equality and women’s economic empowerment at work requires that the work done by women and men is valued equally and that they receive equal pay for work of equal value. Despite the widespread support for the principle of equal pay, the gender wage gap persists at about 20 percent on the global level.
Promote education, training, and professional development for women
- Investing in workplace policies and programs that open avenues for the advancement of women at all levels is an important development strategy.
- There must be equal access to all company-supported education and training programs, including literacy classes, vocational and information technology training.
- Providing equal opportunities for formal and informal networking and mentoring sessions.