EVENT Reach The Peak, a programme conducted at Hotel Le Meridien, had the women staff in the boss's chair for a day! It was confidence building, learning and fun all in one

O ne of the favourite daydreams that normal people have is about sitting on that chair that the boss occupies, though no one will speak aloud about this daydream. The women brigade in Le Meridien (maybe they did not have this daydream, maybe they did!) experienced it on September 19, truly a red letter day in the lives of the 30-odd women associates (that's how they are called) of the hotel. It was women empowerment for a day, something to start with, surely! Well, this was part of a programme called ‘Reach the Peak', the theme of Starwood this year (the group that manages Le Meridien) where women leaders are given ‘one day at a time; to reach the peak.

They were given one day time to take on the managerial post and accomplish what they could. In that one day, the women familiarised themselves with what they were expected to do. On the September 19, while these women held the reins, the real managers went fishing and played indoor games. And at the meeting held in the evening, the one-day-managers sounded confident and ready to take on any job, anywhere.

Shelby Boban, the Executive housekeeper, sat on the chair of the General Manager and confidently carried out her duties. For Training Manager Sugandhi Vipin, taking on the job of the Executive chef was daunting. But she did her homework and came up with a new menu and helped with the purchase procedures.

Says Chinnu Jimmy, PR Executive, who donned the garb of director, sales and marketing, “I learnt so many new things for instance, about budgeting. Earlier, I just looked at those figures and never actually got down to thinking how they were arrived at. Now, I know.”

What was concrete about this one day affair was the renaming of the café by the HR Manager as Star Café.

Some of the women, who were quite hesitant about this shift in duties for a day in the morning, were totally different avatars of themselves in the evening, after having tasted managerial power for a day. But what they did not have was…guess what? Targets!

PREMA MANMADHAN

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