In the words of Maya Makhatadze: “Women should believe that they can be successful”
Date: Monday, August 20, 2018
Maya Makhatadze is the general manager of Cron Palace Tbilisi. She has 15 years of diverse experience working in the hotel industry. Currently Ms. Makhatadze is one of the members of the Business Leaders’ Federation “Women for Tomorrow”. She wants to share her knowledge with other women through the Federation in an effort to support their economic empowerment. UN Women cooperates with “Women for Tomorrow”, which unites women leaders and representatives of various business sectors, on the issues regarding women’s economic empowerment.
I am a historian by profession, but I took several years off after graduating from university - I was busy with my family and did not even look for a job. This time off ended when the Tbilisi Marriott Hotel opened in 2002. The brand announced vacancies that were very appealing to me, so I decided to give it a try. I submitted my CV, but without any result - nobody called.
Even so, I decided that I needed to start working at this hotel and started to look for other ways to make it happen. I found a laundry business that was providing services to Tbilisi Marriott at that time. I thought that getting a job there would be a good way to pursue employment within the hotel. So, I went to the laundry service and asked about their vacancies. As it turned out, there was an opening for an assistant director, and as I had computer skills and spoke foreign languages, they offered me the job. I agreed and started working.
As an assistant director, I had regular meetings with representatives of Tbilisi Marriott. It was during one of these meetings that I told them they had my CV in their desk drawers. I asked them to find the application because I would gladly work for them if they had an opening. It turned out that they had vacancies only for cleaning personnel, but they would not think of offering it to me as an assistant director. I replied that I was ready to take off my suit and start working as a cleaner.
They only agreed because they thought I would change my mind after seeing how hard the job was, but I started without batting an eyelid. I went through many difficulties - I became allergic to the chemicals and it was very hard, but I never thought about leaving. I finally had a job at Tbilisi Marriott after applying for two years. My enthusiasm was soon appreciated - I was promoted to a lead housekeeper and then a supervisor at Courtyard Marriott. This is where an important stage in my career started. At the same time, I was acting as a consultant globally, helping problematic hotels and participating in opening large complexes. I also worked with various other brands after working at the Marriott chain. I never had only one job; I was a tourist guide and a consultant on the rehabilitation and service improvement of Georgian resorts. In 2014, I moved to Cron Palace Tbilisi and became the general manager after a few months.
Now as an accomplished manager, I have resources that need to be shared. I think that with my activities and experience, I can help other women become more active in the economy. My story and the stories of other Federation members can be wonderful examples for those housewives who are seeking a little push to start participating in the labour force. Even one meeting with women business leaders can be such an incentive for them.
Women are fully capable of achieving economic success, but unfortunately, our country still has a problematic mentality that holds women back. However, I think that the women themselves should acknowledge and believe that they can be successful and that they can make bold decisions."