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Interview with Mrs Laetitia Nyop

Mrs Laetitia Nyop, General Manager of Ibis Lome - Togo

1) Please introduce yourself and tell us your name, country of origin, profession and hobbies.
My name is Laetitia Ndjeng Nyop, I am the General Manager at Hotel Ibis Lome Centre in Togo. I am Cameroonian. I love traveling, good  African food and family evenings. I am the mother of a wonderful little girl named Eden.

2) What was your academic cycle?
My academic cycle is the following: BAC ES (equivalent to A Levels) specialty mathematics, then BTS (equivalent to Bachelor Degree) in Hospitality Management and finally a Bachelor in Tourism.

3) Why did you decide to work in Africa after studying and living in the Western World? What was your motivation?
My father was an expatriate in Africa for many years and he gave us the taste for travel, discovery and allowed us to adapt to all cultures and customs. We have lived in Ivory Coast, Kenya, Cameroon and Nigeria. I left Nigeria to France, where I studied and worked for 8 years.
I was missing Africa and I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my father when I started. My main motivation was to acknowledge the hospitality industry as a carrier requiring real skills. It is important to know that historically the hospitality business was seen as a "domestic", today we can "succeed" in this area.

4) Please describe the project or business you implemented or lead in Africa? My project or my ambition within the Accor group was to be promoted and manage a hotel before my 30th birthday. I arrived in Africa 5 years ago as a front office manager and I am now the general manager of a hotel. The  bet is won!

5) What were your fears before starting? Personally, I had no fear, I'm adventurous and I was confident. The concerns came from my parents: Political instability in our African countries, Medical Safety, unemployment and unattractive compensation. Today, they are very proud of me.

6) What experience did you make and what was your best experience?
Several experiences have marked me: the hosting of great personalities through my job (among other Heads of State), managing difficult situations and the training that I gave to my colleagues.
My fondest memory, the reward of the Accor Group in 2010: « Bernache d’Argent » on the theme Spirit of Accor.

7) How does your project affect the youth and women in Africa? How many of them do you employ?
My company employs 23 women full-time and many other part-time (37% of the total workforce). They cover all types of functions, even those historically intended for men (Technical jobs, Finance, Chef).

8) What opportunities do you see for women in your field in Africa?
Women have many opportunities in our industry because they have a sense of hospitality that is innate in general. They have an eye for detail when they are working.
The aim of the Accor Group is to achieve a balance among male and female in leadership positions in the years to come.

9) What advice would you give women willing to start a business or community project prior resuming the project?
I would advice them to go on: the times have changed; women receive same education as men and are equally capable. It is also possible to combine family life and professional development. Women should not be intimidated by the "machismo" of some bosses who think maternity leave is a disaster for the company.

10) Do you support projects to educate other women or the youth in your community? If yes, please introduce the project?
I am a member of the committee Nutrition and AIDS within my company.
I am a member of the Executive Board of WAAG (Women At Accor Generation), a network Accor created to identify, mentor and "coach" women justifying potential experience defined so that they can take positions of Leader within our various hotels.

 

 

Women at Ibis Lome on Women's Internationam Day 2013

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