Women’s Day was first held in New York City on February 28, 1909. The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th, 1975, thus making 2020, the 45th International Women’s Day. March 8th is a date celebrating how far women have come. While women’s rights have steadily improved over the years, there is still a long check-list of unmet demands for legal and economic equality, freedom from violence and gender discrimination in the workplace, to name but a few.

The question is: How does your company embrace diversity, inclusivity, and empowerment through equality?

As a behemoth in the hospitality industry, Marriott has a long-standing history of valuing diversity and inclusion. The Women’s Leadership Development Initiative was developed in 1999, to increase the presence of women in its highest levels of management and other key positions. In Indonesia alone, Marriott International will soon double its representation by adding another 34 hotels to its existing 52 hotels by 2025. It aims to achieve gender parity in senior leadership positions by the same year. In Indonesia alone, over 38% of managerial level roles are held by women. This number will keep growing with Marriott’s investments in training and development programs, including the Women in Leadership Forum, an outlet for women to support one other through a series of initiatives, including a networking program, discussion sessions, workshops, and mentoring.

“Marriott prides itself on its diverse workforce; in particular, it’s efforts to grow female talent. As a woman, I am proud to be part of the Women in Leadership initiative. The team and I want to inspire Indonesian female leaders to reach their full potential and ensure we make progress in achieving gender parity at the senior levels of our hotels. Our work focuses on leadership development, mentoring, and work/life effectiveness,” says Marie Browne, General Manager of Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort, and leader of the WIL initiative for Marriott Hotels in Bali.

In conjunction with International Women’s Day, we chatted with six women from Marriott hotels in Indonesia. They are Lily Wijaya, General Manager of Fairfield by Marriott Bali Legian; Beatrice Soetanto, Director of Revenue Strategy of Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Hotel; Santi Vita Nurrohmah, Director Food & Beverage of Sheraton Mustika Yogyakarta Resort & Spa; Sylvia Elvana, Director of Finance of JW Marriott Hotel Surabaya; Ristiana Manao, Cluster Director of Human Resources of The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Mega Kuningan and JW Marriott Hotel Jakarta; and Kristanti Tannady, General Manager of Aloft Bali Seminyak. These women share about their career journeys, challenges, how they tackle life to succeed, be happy, with the “have it all” being defined by them alone. Read our full interview on the next page.