Heritance Ahungalla celebrates women in hospitality
Saturday, 12 October 2013 00:00
Over the years hospitality industry analysts have spoken about the ‘glass ceiling’ that has prevented women in hospitality from ascending to the upper ranks in the industry. To an extent the same conditions prevail in all industries, however the unique culture that defines the hospitality industry has made it particularly challenging for women. Despite this, there has been a period of notable growth for women in the field. Women are now becoming more visible in management and other key roles both in the front end as well as back end of hospitality operations.
Aitken Spence Hotels over the years have made a conscious decision to ensure that women in hospitality are empowered to reach great heights. Heritance Ahungalla chose to celebrate such women on their team who through their commitment and passion for the work they do have made invaluable contributions to both the hotel and the industry.
The event which was held as part of the World Tourism Day 2013 commemorations kicked off with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp by Heritance Ahungalla General Manager Refhan Razeen. Four hundred female students from ten schools were invited to be part of the event where women with key roles within the hotel addressed the gathering and spoke of their experience as a female in the hospitality industry.
Shanika Jayasekara, two time mixology champion at the Sri Lankan Culinary Art Championships spoke of her passion for her job and how through her commitment and the support she receives from her team has achieved great feats. The hotel’s Human Resource Executive Wathsala Lakmali, at advised the students of the career development opportunities in the hospitality industry for women.
As Sri Lanka experiences a surge in growth in the leisure sector, it is vital that the labour required to cater to the developments within the industry are addressed. Traditionally in the region there is a stigma attached to women working in the hospitality industry but with initiatives such as the one undertaken by Heritance Ahungalla it is believed that more women will be encouraged to join this lucrative industry.
It is heartening to see women breaking through the once impenetrable ‘glass ceiling’ and leading the way for a new generation of females who aspire to leadership in the hospitality industry.