Women who lead at Hard Rock Hotel Penang

V. Sivaji | March 10, 2020 | 0 | Events , Happening Now , Penang , Spotlight , Tourism personality , Travel , Travel Buzz

(As prepared by Hard Rock Hotel Penang’s Marketing & Communications team)
In conjunction with International Women’s Day, The Hard Rock Hotel Penang celebrates two women managers who have garnered much respect as women leaders from many of their team members at their property. Here is their story as prepared by the hotel.
The dynamics of leadership in the hotel industry are rapidly changing. In an industry that has been historically male-dominated for centuries, modern women in hospitality are now constantly creating opportunities for the female workforce and taking transformational steps to become the next generation of mentors.

Two influential women managers featured today are strong advocates from different areas of the hospitality industry who are making their mark at Hard Rock Hotel Penang. In the following interview, these two dynamic female hospitality veterans talk about their career paths, breaking cultural stereotypes, inspirations from their female role models and aspirations to break the glass ceiling of success.
Women who lead at Hard Rock Hotel Penang

NAPSIAH JAMAL – Recreation & Vibe Manager
An architectural design major by choice, Napsiah’s interest in hospitality began when she was working part-time as a banquet staff in one of the local hotel chains during her college days. Coming from a family of hospitality veterans, it was only natural for this friendly personality to pursue her career in a people-oriented field.

As one of the two female Recreation & Vibe Manager in Asia Pacific for Hard Rock brand, Naps spearheads a dynamic team of 20 (with 75% male team members who regard her as a ‘big’ sister). With her longstanding expertise of 36 years in hospitality, Naps’ biggest gratification is to live and love life abundantly as she builds a team of highly capable people through her mentorship. She frequently shares her thoughts and motivation among other hospitality peers to keep improving herself and aspires to be a prominent female leader in the society like her mentor, Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz. 
Women who lead at Hard Rock Hotel Penang

JANET ANG – Housekeeper Manager
Starting her foot right in hospitality was the best career decision she had ever made. Janet’s first hospitality job was at the Front Office department as an intern before she took a leap of faith and joined the housekeeping department where she climbed the career ladder from then on.

At 65, Janet shows no sign of slowing down where her passion is a concern. With her highly energetic and enthusiastic character, she’s pleased to be able to contribute her talent and experience in moulding the younger generation through her leadership. While she takes her passion for hospitality quite seriously, she also loves travelling the world discovering different cultures and seeking new practical ideas that she could improvise locally. To date, she has travelled to over 20 countries and is keen to step foot on American soil next. Janet is also actively involved in charity work and spends her free time teaching reading and writing skills to Down Syndrome kids and volunteering in various charitable projects at the hotel, just like her favourite female role model, Mother Teresa.

Question – Women today play a vital role in an organization in contributing a part of the ideas in the workforce and management. What does it mean to be a women manager and do you think women lead differently than men?
Napsiah: Awesome is how I’d describe a women manager. Women are naturally born with soft skills alike motherly instincts where we focus more on actively interacting and bonding with our teammates and being empathetic at the same time. Gender diversity is a global trend in many industries and it does supplement each other in many ways. I strongly believe that each individual has his/her character and style and each individual brings a different skill set to the table. We can all achieve the same mission and vision regardless of gender and race.

Janet: It is both challenging and rewarding to be a women manager. The business challenges continue and the learning process never stops as we thrive in a constantly evolving economy. To be honest, leadership is a limited commodity. Most frequently, a leader is referred to as someone with social power or an individual’s capacity to influence others towards attaining certain goals and this characteristic doesn’t belong to a particular individual. Men and women have different characteristics and no one gender that dominates another or more successful than the other. Women are usually focused on the well-being of their team and that’s a plus point while men are task-oriented and straight forward, which is also an advantage. So, both gender complements each other naturally.

Question – The belief that men are the decision-makers still holds today. What are your thoughts on this stereotypical cultural belief and how do you overcome the challenges at work being in a male-dominated department?

Napsiah: Beyond these socially constructed biased perceptions and stereotyped behaviours, we still need to stay firm to our decisions and hold on to our grounds to make our voices heard. Being firm is a tool I frequently use with my male counterparts to help break the gender obstacles and for them to take your word more seriously
Janet: Biased perceptions and stereotypical behaviours are deeply ingrained just about everywhere. This is a reality that we have been facing for centuries. Nevertheless, women have boundless potential and we have been endorsed with great responsibility to shape the world and generate value for society. As long as we learn to grow with the challenges and cope with the hurdles of life, attitude is far more important than skills. We need more men who can embrace and promote change in their work environment. 

Question – Despite facing challenges in the workplace and balancing personal lives, more women are breaking the glass ceiling by putting themselves forward for leadership roles. What are the traits that women need to have to play important roles in our society to succeed in their career without having to compromise on their personal lives?

Napsiah: Balancing work and family is crucial, especially when work takes up the majority of our time leaving limited time for our loved ones at home. Nevertheless, it is possible to set aside quality time with our loved ones and treat our colleagues as our second family. Time management is the key for women to succeed in life and it is all about using our time wisely including planning, prioritizing and goal setting to manage our time well.

Taking full responsibility for our work is vital. When we communicate positively and effectively, we influence to motivate the team to work alongside with us. With these traits, talented leaders will attract other talented teammates who share common goals.

Janet: Modern women today are stronger, more educated, self-sufficient and more financially empowered than women from the past generations, thanks to the opportunity created in the market that requires more women to contribute to the global workforce. With an additional effort on smart self-management, women have the power within them to stay focus and put things in the right order and this becomes the necessary key to unlock a challenging day, both at work and at home.
Flexibility is another important trait in successful women. Planning and being flexible to the changes or challenges that we face each day by designating our time and reimagining the workday as a divisible unit can create more options in individual days allowing tasks to be accomplished according to the level of urgency so we would have an allocated free time to spend with our family and friends.
Question – The female millennial is a new era of talent. What are your thoughts on female millennials and do they have what it takes to be great leaders?

Napsiah: The female millennial represents a significant and growing portion of the global talent pool. Most of them were raised having both of their parents in the working world and having grown up in a world of technology, millennial women live in an even faster-paced world than their parents did. They have been exposed to different types of media and environments from a young age that constantly influence their thoughts and behaviours to be more independent and ambitious. They are generally highly educated and have more confidence, therefore they are more susceptible to participate and reshaping the global work workforce.
Janet: Millennials are often called the happiest generation at work and young professional women are very intelligent and have a wider sense of responsibility for the greater good. They are very career-orientated, highly ambitious and bold in making their voices heard. They know very well that a woman’s happiness matters and they are succeeding by promoting positive trends such as narrowing the gender gap and making strides toward leadership positions so they can transform their workplace to a more functional working environment. I’m optimistic that they can achieve a healthy work-life balance, with rewarding careers and fulfilling personal lives. 

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