Hemingways ladies in leading casino industry roles
Hemingways Casino, East London’s favourite entertainment destination, is celebrating women who work in the casino industry this Women’s Month. Meet some of the ladies who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure visitors have an ongoing feast of entertainment 7 days a week, 365 days a year!
Carmen Economou, Financial Manager, believes that although we are all living different stories, we are all aiming to achieve the same thing, and that is simply to be happy. That is why we need to respect and be kind to each other, and ourselves, knowing that at the end of the day we all have the same end in sight. When it comes to happiness and work / personal life balance Carmen is acutely aware of her tendency to slip into a “work-work” balance. She has to keep herself in check and work towards being more efficient in her everyday tasks. In the current economic environment, it is also a constant challenge to find ways to do things differently, to obtain the maximum return on investment and to achieve more with less. Ironically, this challenge is also one of the most motivating aspects of her career. A career Carmen loves because she feels that she is part of a remarkable organisation. She realised this on her very first day at Tsogo Sun and has not since changed her mind. Though she loves her job, she admits that there are often difficult decisions to be made and has realised that in her line of work, a good decision is not always a popular one. When asked what advice she would give to a young person considering a career in entertainment, she said, “The casino industry is such an interesting, exciting industry! Take every opportunity to speak to people outside of your department and learn as much as you can about all aspects of the business, not just the role you are confined to. And have fun!”
Jane Martin, Gaming Tables Manager, sees her career as a journey rather than a set of defining moments. A journey of learning, growing and persevering as a person. And learning, growing and persevering comes with its own set of challenges – especially when it comes to achieving a work / personal life balance. Since she relocated to a different province she has started meditating as a form of stress-relief. This helps her to focus, redirect her thoughts and enhance her self-awareness. In her previous position she believes she maintained a work / personal life balance by practising Bikram Yoga. Jane admits that this is not the most challenging aspect of her job. For her, the real challenge is a personal one – not achieving the desired results. Most tables managers are results-driven and results obsessed. Jane believes she is a perfect example of this obsession! It wasn’t long before her tenacity and drive was noticed on the floor. Jane was recognised and selected to attend the first Gaming Manager Development Programme when it was introduced in 2014. This was the most memorable event in her career at Tsogo Sun. This programme opened her eyes to different aspects of the gaming business, and prepared and moulded her into who she is today. Jane admits that the journey hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. The most painful lesson she has had to learn is that failure is actually good. It is evidence that she has had the courage to try. When asked what advice she would give young people considering a career in the casino industry she said, “Be bold. Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t do it! Women have proven over and over that there is nothing we cannot do! Commit yourself, show resilience, be passionate and lead by example.”
Xoliswa Magengelele, Human Resources Manager, became a mother at a very young age. That did not deter her from reaching her goals of achieving the best in life. Becoming a mother at such a young age was not easy, however knowing that she had someone who totally depended on her, gave her the motivation to achieve the best and also be a present mother. This HR manager achieves a work / personal life balance by setting goals and sticking to the plan – which ensures that she has time for work and her family. As a people’s person, Xoliswa loves to see employees happy and being productive, she has an open-door policy for anyone needing to get worries off their shoulders. When asked what advice she would give young people considering a career in the casino industry she said, “Be flexible and be open to change, understand the industry as a whole and not only the department you work in. That will give you opportunities to grow in the industry.”
Jenny Mabaso, VIP Services Manager, didn’t choose to emigrate to South Africa. She came for a holiday and never left! Today she has a family and, like all other career women, has to contemplate the elusive work / personal life balance. But Jenny has a different take on this: she refers to it as focus. If she is at work, her focus is 100% work, but when she is with her family, 100% of her attention is with her family. Jenny feels that times have changed in the gaming industry and that women are given equal consideration in their chosen career path. However, they have to deal with their own personal struggle to find the balance between work and family life. As a people’s person this VIP services manager gets great reward out of nurturing relationships with internal and external guests. She enjoys learning from their experiences. When asked what advice she would give young people considering a career in the casino industry she said, “You have the job, the training and the knowledge, treat it like a passport and go travel!”
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