Coinciding with International Women’s Day (8 March), AccorHotels has announced it has appointed its first ever Indigenous General Manager, Kristy Stanton, who has become GM of ibis Budget Sydney Olympic Park.
Officially announced at a special Elders breakfast at Harbour Rocks Hotel, MGallery by Sofitel, the appointment of Kristy also marks a milestone for AccorHotels Indigenous Employment Program, which reached over 500 employees nationally at the end of 2016.
Speaking of her achievements and what it means, Stanton said: “I am humbled to be AccorHotels’ first Indigenous General Manager and so grateful for the opportunity.
“I feel proud to be creating a pathway for more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders especially females within AccorHotels and believe that the opportunities are endless particularly with the support of the Group’s Indigenous Programs Team.
“Since taking on my role there are already other Indigenous employees – male and female aspiring to be in my position and already I can see they are more confident to be outspoken about their career goals rather than shying away from them,” she said.
The influence mentors have had on her career has had a great impact, Stanton said.
“I have been fortunate to have a mix of both male and female mentors in my life who had the confidence and belief in me when I was taking on challenging roles,” she said.
“I feel through all the awareness of International Women’s Day and gender equality, times are changing. AccorHotels has great plans for 50/50 gender balance for General Managers and together with the group’s Strategic Leaders Program, it is great to be working in a company that does so much to support its female employees,” Stanton said.
AccorHotels Strategic Leaders Program is part of the group’s diversity strategy and the commitment to achieving greater gender diversity within senior leadership positions. The program focusses on developing new skills in areas of leadership, planning and analysis for female employees.
“As Australia’s largest hotel operator, it is our responsibility to do all we can to support our female employees and ensure they have every opportunity to succeed,” said AccorHotels’ Chief Operating Officer – Pacific, Simon McGrath.
“Studies regularly show that companies benefit greatly from diversity and having women decision makers, and to that I am thrilled to see Kristy become our first Indigenous General Manager.
“Kristy started with us in 2010 and it has been inspiring to see her progression from being a Welcomer at Pullman Sydney Olympic Park at age 19, to undertaking our Executive Leaders Program just four years later.
“In 2013 we pledged our ambition to achieve 50% female general managers by 2018 and currently, across our network of over 200 hotels across Australia we have 40% female General Managers. With Kristy’s appointment and with the continued success of our Executive Leaders Program and fostering female talent through our Strategic Leaders Program I am confident we will reach our target by 2018.
“AccorHotels is a company that is passionate about diversity and inclusion in the workforce and bridging the gender equality gap and it is days such as International Women’s Day which makes us reflect on our achievements and those of our female employees,” he said.
AccorHotels around Australia are celebrating International Women’s Day by hosting a number of events led by keynote speakers. Sofitel Gold Coast is hosting a breakfast with special guests including Lauren Hall, a multi-award winning business leader, Australian Bravery Award Winner, Sally Gregory and women’s leadership champion Catherine O’Sullivan.
Sofitel Sydney Wentworth is hosting an event with Kakenya Ntaiya, an internationally recognised inspirational leader who is changing the lives of many women through education in Kenya, Africa.
McGrath will be a panelist at a Women in Travel, International Women’s Day event where he will be talking about how the travel and tourism industry can better support women in the workplace.