THE BLOG
01/14/2015 05:59 am ET Updated Mar 16, 2015

Women in Business Q&A: Anne-Juliette Maurice, General Manager, Hotel Plaza Athénée New York

The Hotel Plaza Athénée New York recently named Anne-Juliette Maurice its new General Manager.

"I am joining a very professional team of women and men who have served the loyal guests of the hotel Plaza Athénée with the highest dedication for years," Anne-Juliette Maurice said. "I look forward to leading the hotel into its fourth decade while enhancing the services and amenities offered at this142-room jewel located on one of Manhattan's most breathtaking streets."

With more than 20 years of experience in hotel management, Anne-Juliette's prior roles include the position of Director of Sales and Marketing at the Langham Place, Fifth Avenue. As such, she oversaw the rebranding of the Setai Fifth Avenue to Langham Place, Fifth Avenue.

Anne-Juliette also held the position of Regional Director of Marketing, Miami and Regional Director of Marketing, Northeast, for Morgans Hotel Group, to include opening and launching Mondrian South Beach and Mondrian Soho. Prior to then, she was Director of Sales & Marketing at Swissotel The Drake, New York and Director of Sales at Le Parker Meridien New York. Anne-Juliette also worked for the Essex House under Nikko and Westin and was a member of the opening team of Euro Disney in Marne la Vallée, France.

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
I have been fortunate and I am very grateful for having had the opportunity to work for and with great leaders throughout my career. The leadership that I have been given over time, has been instrumental in the development of my skill set. The hotel collections which I have chosen to be a member of, have each had very specific ethos, which I have strongly believed in. Also, my formal education and upbringing have played an important role. Values, ethics, commitment and hard work have been part of my daily life since childhood.

How has your previous employment experience aided your tenure at the helm of The Hotel Plaza Athénée New York?
Over my 25 years in hospitality, I have worked in both Operations and Sales. This exposure to both areas are extremely beneficial. While in the past, most General Managers climbed the ranks through Food & Beverage, more and more General Managers now have Sales & Marketing experience. I find this balance critical namely as in a market such as New York City, competition is extremely aggressive and it is critical to understand the marketplace, trends and ultimately the customer.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at The Hotel Plaza Athénée New York?
The highlight is to be part of an extraordinary group of truly dedicated and sincere staff members, whose sole goal is to exceed guest expectations.

One of our challenges so far, has been to conduct maintenance work to further enhance the Hotel, without disturbing the guest.

What advice can you offer to women who want to start their own business?
Perseverance, determination and belief in oneself are critical. A clear business plan is also necessary, even if it changes over time.

What is the most important lesson you've learned in your career to date?
Be honest and fair.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
It is very difficult, namely in hospitality, which runs 24/7. That said, it is important to surround oneself with a strong team, to be able to delegate, when appropriate. Commitment to work, like private time has to be made. I dedicate the very early morning to my private time, to ensure I have a balance.

What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
It depends. For some women, who are eager to have a family, it is very challenging to manage a full-time job and a family life. For others, it could be the stress that comes with any job; deadlines, long hours, etc...

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
Mentorship has greatly influenced both my professional and personal life. My mentors have created support, guidance, advice and have impacted how I live, professionally and personally.

Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
One of the women I admire the most is Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. Mrs. Lagarde was the first woman to become Finance Minister of a G8 economy, and the first woman to head the IMF. Additionally, Mrs. Lagarde worked for Baker & McKenzie law firm and was elected the firm's first ever female Chairman. Mrs. Lagarde is a brilliant woman, whose intelligence and perseverance led her to these extraordinary positions.

What do you want The Hotel Plaza Athénée New York to accomplish in the next year?
The Hotel Plaza Athenee is a rare jewel on the UES. Our goal is to continue to enhance the overall hotel which includes the product and the experience. With the team, we want to turn the Hotel Plaza Athenee into the best, luxury boutique hotel in NYC.