BRUSSELS, BELGIUM—The Rezidor Hotel Group marked a new milestone in its history by appointing its first Saudi female General Manager in the company and the hospitality industry. Miss Maram Kokandi will be the General Manager of a new Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, scheduled to open later this year. The appointment complements the Saudi Vision 2030 launched last year, which emphasizes the significance of Saudi women and their role in leading the development of both social and professional growth of the Kingdom.
Wolfgang M. Neumann, President & CEO of The Rezidor Hotel Group said, “We are very proud to be part of this historic appointment. We are committed to empowering our women in leadership at Rezidor, and this announcement is a momentous achievement, not only for our group but for the hospitality industry worldwide. We are confident that this milestone, the appointment of the first Saudi female General Manager, will inspire other women across the region to pursue their career aspirations in hospitality.”
Maram Kokandi studied hospitality management in the United Kingdom before moving back to the Middle East region, taking up various hospitality roles in Saudi Arabia. She takes on the responsibility of launching the new Park Inn by Radisson Jeddah Madinah Road as its General Manager.
Three-Pronged Diversity Strategy
The Rezidor Hotel Group’s Balanced Leadership initiative aims to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The program takes a three-pronged strategy to tackle the continuing problem of diversity at the top of organizations: leadership programs, inclusive policies and awareness of the issue from top to bottom, including how to tackle barriers to women succeeding in business.
“Today, we celebrate an incredible success of a Saudi Arabian woman and recognize her potential to lead in one of the most important and fast growing business sectors for the country,” said Mark Willis, Area Vice President, Middle East & Turkey. “This announcement is a testimony of how the Kingdom is progressing in this direction. We have already come a long way, from six female employees in 2014 to 84 today, with 12 in leadership positions.”
Willis added, “The hospitality sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in Saudi Arabia, and female participation as industry leaders is essential for its growth. The Rezidor Hotel Group is proud to have Maram as one of its leaders, and we believe she will become a role model for Saudi women at home and worldwide. Rezidor is committed to increasing its efforts to further develop its Balanced Leadership program in Saudi Arabia, and across the Middle East and Turkey, and enabling women to overcome any barriers to their career growth.”