SUMMARY – DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVITY: LINDIWE SANGWENI-SIDDO, COO OF CITY LODGE HOTELS, DRIVES SUCCESSFUL TEAM-BUILDING IN HOSPITALITY. HER INITIATIVES FOSTER CHANGE AND PARTNERSHIPS, FUELING PROGRESS AND INNOVATION.
Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo, COO of City Lodge Hotels, reflects on the hospitality industry’s challenges and opportunities, highlighting the importance of diversity in building successful teams.
A Journey to Inclusivity: Overcoming Legacy Challenges
When Sangweni-Siddo joined City Lodge Hotels’ executive committee, she noticed the need for more diversity. This lack of representation, common in many industries, is being addressed gradually.
Sangweni-Siddo acknowledges that the underrepresentation of Black and women leaders is a global issue. Her career focus has been on fostering inclusivity and diversity in hospitality.
Sangweni-Siddo emphasizes that speaking up as a minority representative is crucial, as it represents her and others facing similar challenges.
Inclusivity requires commitment from the board to staff levels. Sangweni-Siddo’s efforts have led to appointment of diverse executives, signaling progress.
Fostering Transformation Through Collaboration
Sangweni-Siddo initiated a transformation committee involving department heads to drive five key transformation elements, fostering genuine progress.
Regular committee meetings facilitate real change, fostering a level 3 B-BBEE score and advancing equity and supplier diversity.
Empowering Small Businesses for Growth
City Lodge Hotels partners with selected small businesses for mutually beneficial growth, nurturing diversity in its supplier base.
Collaboration with businesses like Asmara Coffee and Forest Fairies Sweet Company nurtures growth and ethical practices.
Embracing Diversity In Hospitality for Innovation
Sangweni-Siddo emphasizes how diverse perspectives drive innovation and cater to guests of varied backgrounds.
Cultural diversity enriches City Lodge Hotels’ offerings, catering to guests’ preferences sensitively and inclusively.
A Personal Approach to Leadership
Sangweni-Siddo’s leadership combines her background with an appreciation for her colleagues’ uniqueness. Understanding colleagues’ experiences, such as religious celebrations, fosters a welcoming atmosphere.
Sangweni-Siddo’s rise to success is attributed to grace, gratitude, teamwork, self-awareness, and hard work.
Sangweni-Siddo’s advice for success includes embracing faith and gratitude, building strong relationships, valuing teamwork, self-awareness, and hard work.