The Truth Revealed! What Makes Working Mom a Superhero: Q&A with Rivero Delgado, Area Vice President – Singapore, Malaysia & Maldives, Marriott International

May 27, 20211:12 pm2177 views
The Truth Revealed! What Makes Working Mom a Superhero: Q&A with Rivero Delgado, Area Vice President – Singapore, Malaysia & Maldives, Marriott International
Rivero Delgado, Area Vice President – Singapore, Malaysia & Maldives, Marriott International

Many think that when women achieve high positions and are well-paid at work, they must have been sacrificing their family and children. No wonder, working moms have always been under scrutiny and judged for allegedly choosing their careers over their children. 

The truth is, being a working mom does not mean that they care less about their children. Vice President for Singapore, Malaysia & Maldives of Marriott International, a notable and successful leader, Rivero Delgado believed that the perception around working moms is misleading. From her own experience, being a mom and career woman has ushered her to have a more fulfilling life. There’s, of course, a secret to balancing motherhood and career. Today, Rivero shares her secret with us. 

Working as a Vice President in a large organisation is not easy. So, how do you prioritize being a mom and business leader?

Ask any working parent and they will tell you that it is not easy to juggle both but I’ve found parenthood to be a fulfilling path and over the years I have learnt to strike a balance by establishing a strong support network both at the workplace and at home, staying organized and factoring in ‘me’ time.

At work, I believe in empowering my team, providing them with a clear purpose and resources to help drive their performance, in our pursuit of providing guests an unparalleled experience across the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio of hotels. I also have a healthy support system at home that helps me remain positive, achieve my career goals, and balance life as a working mother.

With today’s fast-paced work culture, it is usually our tendency to put self-care last but I’ve come to realize, very early on, that factoring in time for yourself is important. So, I make sure I do what it takes to get the time I need for myself.  I love a good work-out and exercise is a proven stress reliever, hence I schedule my day ensuring it is the first thing that I do as it helps me clear my mind, plan the day ahead and keep my spirits up!

What are the most challenging – but maybe also exciting – things that you’ve experienced as a career mom?

We live in a culture that’s always on and with the ability now to stay connected around the clock, the lines between work and home can get hazy. While you might not be able to have it all on most days, I think a healthy balance can be achieved. Both the roles I play are extremely demanding yet very rewarding, hence there are times when the pursuit of work-life balance feels elusive and it’s at times like these that I usually take a breath to pause and realign on priorities for that moment and think of the bigger picture –  this keeps me going. Having a clear purpose in your journey and being able to achieve this fine line of balance is the most challenging but will help keep you on track.

Do you think being a mother makes you a better leader? Why or why not?

Effective leaders are made, not born and I believe that the ability to effectively lead, motivate and direct a group of people requires a set of skills, mostly acquired through experiences and self-development.  We all possess qualities that could make us a good leader and that we all learn and better ourselves from trial and error as well as experience. For me personally, being a parent has helped with a few skills, but I don’t believe that you need to be a mother or a parent to be a good leader. The leadership skills that I possess also help me in my role as a mother and vice versa — empathy, strategic thinking, flexibility, empowerment, innovation, time management, communication skills, staying calm under pressure, and many more.  

Marriott International has earned a spot on The 100 Best Companies for Working Mom and The Best Companies for Dad. What efforts has Marriott company done to achieve this position?

‘Family comes first’ has been part of our culture since Marriott was founded and it is our commitment to this culture that has won us the year-on-year recognition in industry-leading surveys. We are proud to be recognized for our efforts to create a family-friendly workplace that offers flexible options for our associates, to help support their commitments at home.  While our benefits and offerings are tailored according to each country’s HR laws and legislature, our Marriott International office in Singapore offers paid family care leave to all associates regardless of their citizenship, organizes events that encourage our associate families to come by the office and see where their loved ones work, offer healthcare benefits for all our associates and their dependents along with flexible work scheduling options.

A study found that businesswomen are seen as high in competence, but a working mom is rated less as a businesswoman and more like a housewife. This maternal bias might still happen in some industries. How does your company see this issue, and what would you like to change in your organisation regarding biases around a working mom?

At Marriott International embracing differences and putting people first is part of our culture of inclusion and the way we do business. Our company’s core strength lies in our ability to support diversity, equity, and inclusion by creating opportunities for all our associates. Our firm belief in upholding a people-first culture has helped us grow from strength to strength and at the heart of our belief, we remain committed to ensuring that hard work, fair practices and respect for others, shape our decision making.

Women comprise 54 percent of our company’s workforce and hold some of the most significant positions in the company and we have a longstanding commitment in ensuring equal opportunity for women. The company is playing its part to overcome all forms of bias, gender or otherwise and have been running programs such as the Women’s Leadership Development Initiative and the Emerging Leader Program, to increase the presence of women at the highest level of management and in other decision-making positions.

As a leader, what advice would you like to convey to employers who still have doubts over hiring a working mom?

People form the bedrock of any organisation and employers must embrace a mindset of tapping unique strengths and experiences of their people to truly grow. Different perspectives can spark creativity, innovation and help organisations spot and seize new opportunities.

It is heartening to see how organisations are now making headway into gender equity, but as female leaders, the onus is on us to not stay silent when faced with gender or status bias, in any situation. More importantly, we should always seek opportunities that allow us to celebrate the achievements of other women. Ensuring equal opportunities for working mothers is not only important but the right thing to do. 

Read also: 5 Creative Ideas How Workplace Culture Can Support Working Mommies

About Rivero Delgado: 

Rivero Delgado is an Area Vice President at Marriott International. She has over two decades of experience in the hospitality industry. Based in Singapore for the last four years, she oversees all brands in Marriott International in three territories – Singapore, Malaysia and Maldives. She’s also a mom of two and a huge fitness enthusiast!

Connect with Rivero on LinkedIn

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