Businesswoman Angelina King celebrated Pride Month by rebranding of her side of family-owned Victoria Court chain of motels into Hotel Ava, setting an example for employers to embrace "radical changes" in business management with new policies that show compassion towards employees and the environment.
The 42-year-old, who operates three branches of Victoria Court located in Malate, Buendia, and Pasay, said she set out to transform her share of the family business that she shares with brother Atticus as a new personal challenge, again daring to be different just like when she embraced womanhood.
When the pandemic struck in 2020, King had to close her side of Victoria Court in June and had to let her employees go.
"For the people and for the planet", King said she refuses to go back to how she did business before the pandemic and said that with the motel chain's new identity comes a revised employee compensation package and a switch to sustainable practices in their day-to-day operations.
"Throughout the years of my life I have always been about change. Whether it's internal forces within me or external pressures beyond me. I made sure I moved with the flow and adapted to the times," King, who came out publicly as a transgender woman in 2016, said on Instagram stories.
In an earlier post, King said her father's death pushed her to come to terms with her identity and "dare to be different", thus embarking on a transition journey with the support of her wife, Joey Mead.
"The pandemic has made me rethink how I operate my business. Treat my employees and what impact I have to the community. I didn't want to go back to business as usual," she added.
Hoping to serve as an inspiration for other companies to follow suit, King said she would pay employees a basic salary of P16,808 plus P700 rice allowance. Their benefits include an extended paid maternity leave to six months from just 105 days as mandated by government, as well as paid paternity leave of 83 days more than the government-mandated seven days, she said.
King reduced company working days to four for back office employees and five days for operations. Her employees will have a guaranteed 13th and 14th month pay to be given mid-year and by end-year respectively.
All regular employees get free health care, and all employees have free meals and coffee, she added.
As for her sustainability efforts, King said she would minimize use of single-use plastics and would push for suppliers to do the same. She said she will also be investing in solar panels for the company to utilize green energy, alongside other measures friendly to the environment.
"I hope with these radical changes we are implementing we can serve as an inspiration to other companies to try to rethink how they conduct business so that we truly make a difference on how we treat our environment and our people. Cheers to Hotel Ava!," King said.