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Radisson Blu champions next generation of women leaders

The leading hotel brand continues its support to G(irls)20, whose singular focus is on expanding the number of women in the global labor force

Radisson Blu, the iconic hotel brand driven by innovation and design, is partnering for the second time with G(irls)20 to support a new generation of female leaders. This year's G(irls)20 Summit will be held in Istanbul on 5-6 October, and delegates will be hosted in the Radisson Blu Sisli Hotel.

Radisson Blu launched its partnership with G(irls)20 last year by supporting the Fathers Empowering Daughters campaign.

20 leaders and employees from the hotel group, including the COO Olivier Harnisch, have contributed videos to the campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the important role of men and fathers in supporting the empowerment of girls and women.

This year's G(irls)20 Summit will focus on female labor force participation, and aims to hold G20 leaders to a key commitment they made last year on expanding women in the labor force. Olivier Harnisch, EVP & Chief Operating Officer of The Rezidor Hotel Group – which operates and manages Radisson Blu hotels across Europe, the Middle East & Africa – will be representing the private sector on a panel about best practices in supporting this goal.

Commenting on the group’s involvement, Harnisch said: “Increasing the female labor force and cultivating a new generation of women leaders are of great importance in reaching the global economic development, growth and sustainability targets.

“At The Rezidor Hotel Group, we are proud to have fostered a culture that encourages employees to innovate, share ideas, take risks, lead and make a difference. Our Women in Leadership (WiL) initiative is just one example of that culture.”

Harnisch continued: “I’m very much looking forward to attending the G(irls)20 Summit in Istanbul – it is such a powerful event. I want the next generations of daughters to believe they can become whatever they want to. Nothing is impossible! And this is what dads can do for their daughters: to encourage and support them and most importantly, to tell them they can do it. But not just dads – everyone can contribute to this empowerment of the next generation of women leaders.

“Our society can only call itself really modern once it has become gender blind. I feel I can make a contribution to that: at home with my children, but equally importantly at work. Our business’ success is very much dependent on women in leadership and women as customers.”

The hospitality industry presents particular challenges that apply to the careers of both men and women. Rezidor’s Women in Leadership initiative aims to help both women and men by encouraging a change in the way its employees work in three key ways:
• Taking a more flexible approach to working conditions – for example by supporting part-time work (especially within senior roles) and ensuring all hotels adapt to local rules of engagement;
• Personalized development plans – for example by shifting the discussion away from a focus on the process to a focus on the person, and what they need and want from Rezidor as an employer.
• A more flexible approach to mobility – for example by accepting that the ability to be mobile will change as people’s circumstances change and understanding that 'Yes I Can!' can be “no, not right now”.

Kathrine Ohm, Director of People & Performance Management at The Rezidor Hotel Group, who spearheads the WiL initiative, said: “At Rezidor, we embrace and celebrate our diversity and together we have the power to be courageous and bold when faced with the biggest challenges. Our Women in Leadership initiative represents a major, proactive mission to bring about a truly positive change in our company’s Diversity and Inclusion culture.

“This is a business issue not just a gender issue: by retaining more women we will create a larger pool of talent for senior leadership positions.”

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