July 16, 2024

Women at the heart of Radisson RED V&A Waterfront’s legendary hospitality

2 min read

In alignment with its values of inclusion and gender diversity, Radisson RED V&A Waterfront Cape Town acknowledges the women whose resilience and ingenuity have been part of the hotel’s success.

“As South Africa celebrated women in various sectors this August, Radisson RED Cape Town would like to honour the women who have shaped the hotel’s distinct identity through their unwavering dedication, professionalism and innovation,” says accountant, Illana Pakoe.

The women of Radisson RED Cape Town lead across departments including management, guest services and culinary arts. They contribute to an inclusive and empowering environment reflecting the hotel’s values.

Pakoe has carved out an impressive 19-year career in the hospitality industry, 16 of which have been dedicated to an array of esteemed roles within the Radisson portfolio, including a stint at the Radisson Blu Sandton.

While her educational path initially led her to hospitality studies, her passion for finance could not be sidelined. Resilient and focused, she gained diverse hospitality experience, and eventually segued into accounting roles. Pakoe’s tenure at Radisson Hotel Group showcases her commitment, tenacity and consistent professional evolution: from her first role as a junior hotel trainee to her current appointment as assistant lead of finance. 

Operating within Radisson RED Cape Town’s open, largely non-hierarchical corporate culture, Pakoe found support and encouragement in Christo Els, a financial controller, and early-career mentor who helped her foster a sense of ownership, belief and faith.

Pakoe has, in turn, mentored rising trainees. With a demanding yet nurturing approach, she has cultivated growth and imparted a comprehensive big-picture understanding of the business, forging a new generation of leaders poised to sustain the company’s innovative trajectory.

“We value our team of dedicated women. Guided by a ‘Yes, I can’ attitude, their contributions enrich the hospitality experience and bring a unique energy to our workplace,” she reflects.

Pakoe shares a belief in co-operation and collective growth, encapsulated in the phrase, ‘We grow talent and talent grows us’. “One of the perks of working at Radisson RED Waterfront are the myriad opportunities for growth, career advancement, and access to a global work-and-travel exchange programme, fostering a culture that nurtures talent and encourages our people to reach their full potential.”

Committed to the ethos of inclusivity, Radisson Hotel Group has been recognised among global employers in the travel & leisure industry, and across various sectors in Forbes’ 2022 World’s Best Employers Report.

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