Amaka Amatokwu-Ndekwu has had her fair share of experiences in witnessing women degradation and victimization in the society. Women are often not given leadership positions and responsibilities even though they are capable. They are stereotyped as being indecent and eventually a waste of time.
Having witnessed all these while working in the hospitality industry, she decided something must be done.
Her passion ignited the Women in Hospitality Nigeria (WIHN), a Non-Profit initiative. In the words of the enthusiastic Lagos Business School Alumni, “I was inspired to create a platform for women to be heard and be given equal opportunities at the top. We want to create a paradigm shift in the perception of women in the Hospitality and Tourism industry. “
The organization is a group of professional women who are engaged in various services ranging from food production, management operations, travels, tourism and customer service. In her words, “we aim to inspire and empower our women while promoting gender diversity and leadership in the hospitality and tourism industry.” These women unite under the organization, being a voice of support within Nigeria and soon, beyond its shores. They currently operate in the Western and Southern parts of the country.
According to Amaka, “we organize trainings, seminars and workshops for our members and the general public who have interest in joining the industry. We have seasoned professionals with wealth of experience who volunteer and assist members with professional and sometimes personal problems.” Other WIHN programs include mentorship in career plans as well as other delicate issues.
So far, members have obtained certifications and degrees to boost their chances in their careers. They have also developed confidence in their job. Women have learned the value and benefit of personal improvement and they have a strong bond with each other.
The road hasn’t been easy for WIHN in terms of sponsorships, and according to Amaka, “It’s not been easy getting sponsorships and partnerships, we would be happy to partner with organizations that want to impact in the lives of the next generation of service people in the hospitality industry.”
On how the hospitality industry in Nigeria is faring, Amaka revealed that the industry is gradually improving as international brands are making their way into the Nigerian Market. In her words, “a lot of young people are being innovative with tourism and embracing the industry and I am happy we have some of our female members playing major roles”. Although, the industry still faces a number of challenges, including lack of proper training and suitable working conditions.
With WIHN, Amaka’s goal is to continuously make positive improvements in every member’s career.
To be part of initiative, all you need to do is to register by filling the application forms here. Enclose a copy of your CV and passport photograph, send to email@example.com, and a representative will be in touch.