General Manager at Al Areen Palace & Spa Bahrain by Accor MARIE-BERENGERE CHAPOTON discusses the importance of female empowerment and the importance of self-motivation.

As the General Manager of Al Areen Palace & Spa by Accor you are able to empower so many females throughout the hotel industry. Tell us why this is so important to you and your role.

Empowerment can be interpreted in various ways: autonomy, responsibility, accountability, decision making and influence. As a leader, my objective is to provide each of my team members all the tools and means to achieve their objectives effectively, regardless of their gender.

We are all for lifting other women up and fixing each other’s crowns, how do you embrace this mantra?

Some may thrive by working independently, or by acting as a team to define and roll out strategies, others may desire taking on more responsibility, and ask for it, yet some may perform more effectively when faced with key decision making or the opportunity to influence peers. All the aforementioned leads to the main goal of reaching positive achievements, while developing a strong team spirit. Empowered teams will work together to achieve more in a self-sufficient and self-motivating environment, especially in a context as the one we are operating in today where the rules are being re-written and reference points and practices are being questioned.

Tell us what female empowerment means to you.

What has shaped my personal and professional life is the desire to reach out to others and overcome obstacles. I am thrilled to have been appointed to my new role in Bahrain: a new challenge, the discovery of a rich culture, and the desire to integrate myself in this new society. Wherever I am in the world, I make it a personal commitment to learn the local language; and I have always found Arabic to be a fascinating language! Female empowerment to me is being self sufficient and motivating others.

Every woman deserves to be spotlighted for greatness, name someone who has impacted your approach to life, and strengthened your position as a strong female in Bahrain. What did they do to help you through your personal journey?

Along history and across the world, emblematic empowered women have brought immeasurable changes in their respective fields, such as Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, Marie Curie, Rosa Parks, Olympe de Gouge, Mother Teresa, Princess Fannu, Frida Kalho and Amelia Earhart, only to name a few.

Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al -Khalifa, head of the Supreme Council for Women in Bahrain, has encouraged the expansion of women’s rights in Bahrain and continues to contribute to the activism of female empowerment. I must also mention some other very important ladies from our Kingdom who were listed on the Forbes Annual Power Businesswomen in the Middle East list; Ms Najla Al Shirawi, Mona Yousef Almoayyed, Najla Al Shirawi and Narjes Jama. These women continue to influence others including the youth of Bahrain, which is imperative to changing the equality narrative.

Just like these aforementioned illustrious women here, we all encounter inspiring leaders in our life that will nourish our way of thinking and develop our knowledge further. Be curious, be inspired, learn from others with an inclusive mindset and you will grow both individually and collectively.

Knowledge is power. What challenge have you overcome as a female and how did this mould your approach to everyday life?

You have mentioned the fact that knowledge gives power. I think that while knowledge is acquired and matured through trials, successes and failures, it is fueled by the willingness to discover what is unknown or different to us. It comes back to what I earlier said, always reaching out to others to learn. Power in itself is not an objective and even if you have a position of authority and influence, it must always be handled with discernment.


“What has shaped my personal and professional life is the desire to reach out to others and overcome obstacles.”

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