The Park Inn by Radisson Newlands has a new General Manager: Carly de Jong, who has experience working in a number of hotels both internationally and locally, was appointed as GM this month.

The Park Inn by Radisson Newlands is a staunch supporter of the deaf and hard-of-hearing, offering support and career prospects. The hotel, of which 51% is owned by Deaf SA, employs a deaf staff compliment of 19% and as General Manager, Carly is rigorous in her mentorship of both deaf and hearing staff. “Both hearing staff and guests have benefited from our Deaf crew members who patiently teach sign language to anyone who wants to learn,” she comments.

Prior to joining Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Newlands, Carly worked for hotels in the CBD and surrounds in Cape Town. The suburban setting of the Southern Suburbs, in her view, allows Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Newlands the freedom to be more creative in their offering of a more relaxed environment. “The inclusion of our Deaf staff also brings a different angle to our team at Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Newlands.”

Carly first worked with the Radisson Hotel Group in 2003 as Service Manager at the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront before moving on to The Bay Hotel and Southern Sun Cape Sun. Returning to Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront in 2014, Carly found that the company had progressed greatly in its efforts to support and advance female employees. “More than half of the executive team at the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront was female by then,” she explains. “The Radisson Hotel Group embraces gender equality and diversity and supports these through numerous activities and initiatives.”

One such initiative is the System to Enhance Productivity and Service (STEPS) program, which involves workshops aimed at supporting female employees to build new skills and awareness of their talents, passions and capabilities, as well as emphasising growth paths, opportunities, the work/life balance, career management and impactful communication. A STEPS graduate herself, Carly adds: “I think there’s huge value in giving women clear career guidance to enable them to envision their career path.”