A diary of a woman taking on the hospitality industry….

October 7, 2015 by in category I'm Not John with 0 and 1
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One 30-year-old business women shares her stories of working in the hospitality industry and how she is taking inspiration from other strong female leaders to take on the doubters.

“The hospitality industry is a pretty even split of male and female leaders, especially when it comes to sales.

However, there is a certain “type” of woman who appears to succeed into the higher level roles more than others.

At first these women would intimidate me with their brass personalities and “bull in a china shop” ways, but as I’ve got to know them, I’ve realised it’s a front and a way of keeping up with the boys.

Sad really, as many are mothers, carers and have amazing hobbies but they dare not mention it in case they’re seen as less focused.

Myself as a 20 something, first joined a venue as a sales executive back in 2011, and had no idea that suddenly looking after a bank of clients would mean they had open access to my personal life.

When you’re entertaining people and spending leisure time with them, this can lead to very personal questions… not all of them ok.

My role is incredibly social and that is something that I truly love. I love meeting new people and getting to know them, which in turn leads to them booking and placing business with me.

But with this comes long and unsociable hours and the aforementioned “opening up” when spending long periods of time with someone.

I have been asked the following, seemly totally appropriate dinner chat:

Do you have kids? – No…

Oh well, that’s good you couldn’t possibly do this role and have a family…

Really? The clocks ticking…

You’re newly married aren’t you? When are you starting a family?

You’re one of them who puts career ahead of kids, good for you…

 So when you do, you’ll be giving up this job, yes?

This is a small example of the questions I face daily. I have asked male counterparts of the same age if this is something they are asked and the answer is either never or very rarely.

One of my peers from another company was told by a recruitment agent that she should apply for a maternity leave 12 month cover role as “when she’s back from having the sprog, she’ll be good for nothing and the job is yours”.

This charming gent was totally unaware that my peer was pregnant herself, sending her into a state of panic that her job wouldn’t be there when she got back. Of course, it was and she’s since been promoted!

There is light at the end of this rather strange tunnel however, and not all is horribly negative!

I am surrounded by strong and inspiring women who juggle everything life throws at them and who have taught me I can do the same, when the time is right.

Women who want to teach the younger generations that brains are just as attractive and alluring as a size 10 bottom.

One lady I respect and admire terribly is my old GM, she is strong, intelligent, wickedly funny, caring and sharp as a knife and has two amazing girls … one of which plays footie and takes on the boys everyday.

My best friend, who is a HR Business Partner, is a fantastic friend, beautiful mother and all round wonder. She is shining the beacon for women who can, are and will do fantastic things in a male dominated industry.

I have amazing clients who respect me for the job I do and take a real interest in who I am, rather than what they think I should be. I am told how fabulously I have done at a young age, and to keep going because I am capable of so much more.

Now at the tender age of 30, the world really is my oyster and as I get higher and take on more, I am confident of my strengths and aware of my weaknesses.

I am ready to take on whatever lays ahead with a smile on my face, and a little bit of sass that only a women in a ”mans’ world” can have.”


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