Remote Working Is Good For Women

Ms. Grace Nderitu is the Chief Executive Officer, Eco-Tourism Kenya. She urges women to embrace the use of technology, which will enable them to work remotely from any part of the world.

How did you start off your career, and who inspired you? My first employment was in the medical administration section, at the Aga Khan University Hospital. However, 15 years ago, I decided to make a complete career change and went back to school to study tourism.  I found Ecotourism, which was one of the course units to be quite fascinating.

The degree program required an examinable industry attachment, and that is how I found myself at Ecotourism Kenya. Through the mentorship and inspiration of the team leader then, Ms. Judy Kepher-Gona, who I look up to even to-date, I have excelled within the organization.

As a female leader, what has been the biggest barrier to  Growth in your career? As female leaders in tourism, the imposter syndrome sometimes gets on our way.  As much as we know we are sufficiently qualified and have a string of achievements in our wake, we still suffer the pressures of trying too much, but feeling inadequate.  

Do women in your profession have a hard time getting jobs or promotions? The tourism industry is perhaps one of the many that is highly dominated by women.  We have a growing number of women taking up leadership positions, both in the corporate and the business space. Having said that, we still have a relatively small number of women managers in camps and lodges, especially women of child bearing age. 

How can women achieve an equal future in a Covid-19 World? Covid-19 has brought the opportunity to work remotely and therefore women should embrace the use of technology and be able to juggle between work and looking after their young ones.  Going forward, they may not need to leave their houses to go to work but can still earn an income.  Bringing up children and making progress in one’s career are both equally important to women. Covid-19 has ensured that women do not have to choose one at the expense of the other.

Career advice to young women entering your profession during Covid-19 world? Young women entering the tourism industry in this Covid era may not be subjected to the 8am – 5pm working arrangement.  They are therefore required to be versatile, and to also demonstrate how they can infuse their technological knowhow, to the benefit of the organization.  Thanks to Covid-19, the young women can now work remotely from any part of the world.  They should therefore cast their nets wider for jobs in the international space, as we are now truly a Global Village.

One recommendation for HR leaders to help promote women in the Covid-19 era at the workplace? HR leaders may have to review their employment manuals in terms of place of work, and working time.  Perhaps it’s time we embraced hourly pay.  This way, women with desk jobs in tourism and hospitality industry, have an opportunity to work from out of town, city or country; and still take care of their families.


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