The Alchemist FD pledges to develop women in the business

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Mind the gap: the Alchemist's Victoria Stewart has vowed to help women get ahead in business
Mind the gap: the Alchemist's Victoria Stewart has vowed to help women get ahead in business
Premium bar and restaurant chain the Alchemist's finance director Victoria Stewart has vowed to help women in their career paths.

Her pledge comes as the gender pay gap​ revealed that no pub groups in the sector pay women more than men in their equivalent roles. There were also differences between the groups in how many women they employ in senior jobs and bonus payments, according to the gov.uk website.

Stewart began her career training as a chartered accountant working for Deloitte and, once qualified, moved to private equity house Coller Capital. She soon left London to move up north to start a family and began her role as finance director at the Alchemist in April 2017.

“During my career, I’ve commonly been mistaken for a Victor. I’ve noticed the double takes when I meet someone in person, and they’re expecting the finance director they’ve been emailing to be male. And in previous roles, I’ve seen women return from maternity leave and not receive the same opportunities as other employees,” said Stewart. 

“I’m here to change that, I feel so passionately about developing my team and broadening the gender spectrum within this industry. Developing women in business is important, and it matters.” 

Work to live

Stewart said that returning to work after maternity leave can be a challenging time for women. 

She said that it can be “tempting” to take every opportunity but what once may have been a ‘dream job’ to may not fit into their life now. She advises women to make sure that their work fits around what they need and not the other way round. ​And to have patience and allow for "teething problems” once they go back into employment. 

“The age-old saying of ‘work to live’ has never been more prevalent. Finding roles and flexibility into your working life is pivotal,” she said.

“If the location and hours do not fit into what you need, this isn’t the opportunity to take. Now more than ever, businesses can be flexible and many brands offer flexible hours and working-from-home options.” 

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