Interview with Margaux Gouchi, Human Resources Manager and Véronique Térisse, General Manager, Hilton Evian les Bains. The property has a predominantly female management team, on the occasion of the International Women's Rights Day, we take a look at this specificity.
Véronique Térisse's background
She joined the Hilton Group after her studies at the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne.
First at the Hilton Strasbourg as group and events coordinator, then as yield manager at the Hilton Lyon. Then from 2006 to 2012, as soon as the property opened, she was commercial director of the Hilton Evian les Bains. Finally from June 2012 she was commercial director at the Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa. And finally in March 2020, she returned to the Hilton Evian to take over the management.
A career 100% within the Hilton group because: "Hilton is an international group. If a person wants to grow and is ready to move, Hilton offers a number of opportunities. The group invests in the training and development of its employees. Working for an international chain is fantastic, it gives you the opportunity to work anywhere in the world.
The Hilton Evian les Bains, a property with some special features
"It's a property that I've always loved because it has a soul. There is a strong family spirit," Véronique Térisse points out, "with a stable permanent team that has a high level of seniority. The staff works in a spirit of mutual support and teamwork.
Margaux Gouchi explains this loyalty in part by the strong appeal of the Chablais region, which offers a very attractive quality of life. "This region is special when you come from the city, you either like it or you don't. But if you like it, you can't leave."
How did you come to have a predominantly female team?
"Of the 11 managers, there are 3 men. It was not a choice and it just happened. Whether it's a man or a woman, you need the right person in the right place. The important thing is the skills and the mindset. Having a good balance and a good percentage of women perhaps brings a different sensibility... For some employees it is a source of pride, joining a team with a majority of women was a criterion.
For Margaux, this proves that it is possible as a woman to reach these positions, which is important to inspire women working in the sector.
Today there is a lot of talk about the lack of attractiveness of the sector and the difficulties in recruiting. What is your point of view on the current debate?
"We did not wait for the crisis linked to COVID 19 to ask ourselves questions about the well-being of our employees. For years now, we have not had any break times between two shifts and have had two consecutive days of fixed rest. Night work is also compensated. This allows the teams to find a certain stability for a personal life that is better taken into account. However, it is important that we communicate better on these advantages to potential candidates."
Today is International Women's Rights Day, do you ladies have any messages to pass on to women who work in the hotel industry or aspire to work there?
Margaux insists: "You shouldn't set yourself the ultimate goal of being a manager just to prove that as a woman you can do it. You just have to perform well in your job to achieve your goals, not give up and prove your abilities with the quality of your work."
For Veronique, "We have to give ourselves the means to achieve our dreams. Don't censor yourself as a woman by saying that maternity leave or children prevent you from evolving in your career, because every logistical question always has its solutions. The world of work has changed. A good career does not mean that you have to sacrifice things on the side. You shouldn't stop yourself from doing things, but you should dare to be bold and go for it."