Alice currently works with Hilton in Dubai, and now looks to give back to her home country Hotelier Middle East has spoken to numerous decision-makers in the industry. Regardless of their start in the industry or the firm they represent, something which unifies them all is ambition.
From pot washers aspiring to become presidents and getting there; to quiet butlers working their way up to COO.
For Alice Banda, her ambitions continue to grow, but at its core, are defined by one thing: To be a role model to her younger siblings.
Born and raised in Zambia, at 24 years old, Banda today works with Canopy by Hilton Dubai Al Seef in the front office.
Given an opportunity in Dubai thanks to Evolvin’ Women, the ambitious Banda has since grasped every opportunity with both hands.
Alice Banda making her family proud
“I am the second of a family of six, and being the eldest sister has always pushed me to set the right examples to my younger siblings,” she explained.
Reflecting on her journey from Zambia to the emirates, she continued: “During my high school years, the school organized a career day, from which Hilton was part. Hospitality has been one of my main interests since the minute I heard one of the female speakers introduce her role.
“She talked about the prejudice she faces in her community as women aren’t usually in this domain. Although women in my country are still yet to overcome these prejudices, I loved the idea of helping new people and I knew hospitality was meant for me.”
Driven to make her family proud, Banda’s horizons have broadened immensely since coming to Dubai.
In just 90 days with Hilton, she was promoted and looking ahead, she shows no signs of slowing down.
Banda explained: “I first joined the support team of the concierge department. Within 90 days, I was then promoted to join the front office team. I couldn’t contain my excitement as I was offered to join soon after my arrival.
“My long term goal is to open my very own pub and grill. I enjoy working in Dubai and although I miss home I am taking advantage of the programme to gain as much experience as possible.”
Alice Banda wants to help other young women
Just as Evolvin’ Women has helped her, Banda is now working on her own sponsorship programme to bring other young women from Zambia over to Dubai.
She said: “Without Evolvin’ women, I am just a girl with dreams. Meeting Assia, the founder made every dream I had possible. She helped build my confidence, she introduced me to the right training such as self-awareness, mental and wellness courses. She truly shaped me into the lady I am today. I had many dreams but working in Dubai seemed very impossible but Evolvin’ women made that possible.
“Tough times don’t last only tough people do, never let your background define you. As long as you can think of it and you put in the work you will definitely achieve anything. I am currently working on a sponsorship programme to sponsor other girls from my country to come work in Dubai and get the same opportunity I was given. We only rise by lifting others.”
Evolvin’ Women success stories
Evolvin’ Women previously partnered with other hotel groups, such as Ramada, Hilton, Radisson and Wyndham, but Jumeirah Beach Hotels is the first UAE network.