Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of resorts in the Maldives celebrates International Women’s Day by honouring the female associates who play an essential role in shaping the future of the hospitality industry.
“Marriott International recognises the contributions that women make and is committed to supporting their growth and development,” the Hospitality Group said.
“Women hold key leadership positions in Marriott International Maldives, and this year, we are delighted to share inspiring stories of some of the talented and dedicated women who work across the company’s portfolio of resorts in the Maldives.”
Rivero Delgado, Area Vice President (Singapore, Malaysia & Maldives) of Marriott International, said: “At Marriott International, we value diversity and equality, and we have a strong commitment to promoting women in leadership positions.”
“From leading teams to creating unforgettable experiences for our guests, women are making a significant impact on our business and the hospitality industry as a whole. We are committed to ensuring that women have the confidence to apply for any role they want, and we encourage everyone to feel able to apply for roles that they are suitable for, regardless of their race, gender, religion, or ethnicity.”
Itha – Waitress at JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa: Itha loves to deliver excellent customer service and says that her strength is her interpersonal skills which the company allows her to showcase. Her favourite part of the job is assisting customers with their food selections.
Itha believes in the company’s commitment to providing great customer service, and she sees this as an opportunity to learn and grow. Her best experience with a valued guest was when she met a lovely couple celebrating their honeymoon. She surprised them by creating special table decorations with the letters of their names for their dinner. They were touched and told Itha, “We will never forget this in our lives.”
Itha advises future female waitresses never to underestimate the power of a smile.
Gordana – Kids Club Manager at JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa:
With over 20 years of experience working with children and youth, she oversees the care, hospitality and service provided to the young guests at the FAMiLY by JW Little Griffins’ Kids Club during their stay and manages youth activities, babysitting and special events.
Gordana finds joy in seeing a smile on both the kids’ and parents’ faces and believes there is no picture as beautiful as smiling, bright-eyed, happy children.
One of her favourite experiences involved a family who visited the resort and became good friends to the extent that they are still in touch. Their 3 year old son came every day and every time he came he gave her a big hug and told her he loved her.
For women interested in working in hospitality, Gordana believes it’s a unique job that allows personal and professional growth and the chance to meet people from all over the world.
Wong Min Sin (Jess) – Pastry Chef at W Maldives: A woman of exceptional talent with an unwavering commitment to excellence. With her infectious smile and can-do attitude, she embodies the spirit of the W brand. She started her career at a young age, and her experiences in different hotels have honed her skills and expertise in the culinary field.
Her inspirations are her mom and aunt who love to make sweets. Jess believes in treating everyone equally, and states that W Maldives provides her with the freedom to be herself.
Her advice to other female talents is to be independent and strong. Jess’ career aspirations include becoming an Executive Pastry Chef or opening her own pastry shop or restaurant. Her passion and positivity are a reminder that anything is possible with hard work and dedication, and that your dreams are always within reach.
Fritzel Gantuangko – Human Resources Manager at W Maldives: She started her career as a Chef, breaking through barriers as the only woman in the kitchen and quickly becoming a valuable member of the team as the Chef’s secretary. Her commitment to excellence and hard work earned her an opportunity to work in the Maldives, and later transition to HR.
Over the years, Fritzel has continued to grow her career, moving up the ranks to her current role as HR Manager at W Maldives. Despite the challenges that come with being a woman in the hospitality industry, Fritzel has persevered, and her passion for the industry has only grown stronger. She is a firm believer in building strong relationships and maintaining a positive attitude, and is always willing to help others.
For young girls joining the industry, Fritzel has some inspiring words of advice: Believe in yourself, embrace challenges, build relationships, and pursue your passion with unwavering determination.
Ashinie Weerasinghe – Quality, Learning & Development Manager at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa: Ashinie’s journey began when she pursued a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance at Flinders University in Australia. As a part-time job, she started waitressing and ventured into hospitality, realising that it was her true passion.
She completed an advanced diploma in hospitality with William Angliss, Australia, and landed an internship at the Weligama Bay Marriott Resort & Spa in Sri Lanka, where her love for the industry deepened. During her internship, Ashinie was offered a position as a front office associate, and one week later, she was offered the position of training coordinator, where she was told that there won’t be a manager, but she will be heading the training department. It was a significant challenge that she had never imagined, but she decided to take the opportunity and give it her best shot.
With determination and hard work, Ashinie excelled and found her stepping stone to Human Resources and training.
As a Quality, Learning & Development Manager at the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, Ashinie encourages women to embrace diverse perspectives and to push boundaries to achieve their goals. She believes that women should not let their gender define them or hinder their input, reminding them that they have earned their place at the table and deserve it.
For those aspiring to join the hospitality industry, Ashinie reminds us that it is changing, and the opportunities are endless. She encourages everyone to challenge themselves, keep pushing towards their ultimate goal, and never let obstacles or setbacks define them. Her message is clear: with perseverance, self-belief, and a willingness to learn and grow, anything is possible.
Ashiyath Shurufa – Guest Service Agent at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa: Ashiyath has always been passionate about the hospitality industry. Despite facing societal judgement and gender stereotypes, she never let them get in the way of her dreams. Her career journey began with internships at Capital Travel and Sun Siyam Olhuveli, where she honed her skills in customer service and guest satisfaction.
As a Guest Service Agent, Ashiyath provides assistance to all guests, administering check-ins and check-outs, processing payments and billing, and promptly attending to guest phone calls and messages to accommodate their exact needs and requirements.
For Ashiyath, the hospitality industry is not just a job, it’s a thrilling experience where she faces different challenges and learns something new every day. She is proud to work alongside female leaders in the industry who motivate her to reach for the stars.
Ashiyath’s message to young girls is to never let societal judgement or gender stereotypes get in the way of their dreams. With self-belief and determination, they can achieve anything they set their minds to in the hospitality industry.
Tanaya Dasgupta – Reservations Manager at The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort: She began her journey 14 years ago in Kolkata, India. Over the years, she has worked in Guest Relations, and her passion for hospitality took her to different brands and hotels within the Marriott International portfolio, including The Ritz-Carlton and Marriott Hotels.
Tanaya’s journey has been a testament to the opportunities offered to female associates at Marriott International. Tanaya believes in equality and empowerment in the workplace. She is committed to developing her team members, focusing solely on their professional performance and skills, irrespective of their gender.
Ika Khasanah – Spa Manager at The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort: Ika began her hospitality career at the age of 19 in Bali, Indonesia. Ika has dedicated over 10 years of her life to the wellness field, and she believes hospitality is not just a career, but a way of life that has allowed her to grow personally and professionally while traveling the world.
She cherishes the freedom and mobility that comes with her job, which has allowed her to meet new people and create unforgettable memories for guests and herself.
Ika is inspired by Marriott International’s commitment to women’s empowerment and admires the number of female senior leaders who serve as role models for her and others in the company.
“Marriott International congratulates women across the globe and reaffirms its commitment to diversity, inclusion, and empowerment,” the Hospitality Group said.
“We hope that the inspiring stories of these women will inspire and empower the next generation of women leaders in hospitality.”