Sylvia Lima recently became the first female general manager at Manhattan's 912-room New Yorker Hotel, where she has worked since 1995, including serving a stint as controller. A native of Germany, Lima also has experience as a publishing executive and sales manager.
In your opinion, why are the majority of general managers male? I can only speak for myself on this, but in my case, being a wife and mother had something to do with not taking it on previously. The hours are long, since operations are 24/7. As general manager, I'm spending more time here than ever. But, indeed, why shouldn't more women hold these kinds of roles?
What are your objectives? One of my goals is to organize the staff to work more closely together as a team. Since it's such a large hotel, functions and departments are in different areas. I've gathered sales, events, food and beverage, accounting and other departments on the same floor. We are all getting to know each other and communicating better.
What do you do in your spare time? I love to spend time with my family, go to readings and work on crafts. I like to knit, crochet and sometimes sew. I often donate what I make to charity.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? I love New York, but I'd probably say Berlin. The one and only time I went there, I enjoyed the atmosphere -- the arts, the history. It has a very different kind of spirit.