International Women's Day 2022 - sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro

Women leading the on-trade

By The Morning Advertiser

- Last updated on GMT

International Women's Day: we asked many women across the sector their thoughts on equality in the trade
International Women's Day: we asked many women across the sector their thoughts on equality in the trade

Related tags: International women's day, Training

The Morning Advertiser has collated advice and life stories from some of the key voices in the sector, in celebration of this year's International Women's Day.

Peroni Nastro Azzuro hosting a first-of-its kind pub quiz to celebrate International Women's Day. 

For one night only, Peroni Nastro Azzurro will host a first-of-its kind pub quiz in celebration of International Women’s Day on Tuesday 8 March.

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Hosted by former Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Odudu, The International Women’s Day Pub Quiz will provide guests with a fun and inclusive environment to celebrate women’s empowerment.  In partnership with Peroni Nastro Azzurro, the event will take place at the Flowerhouse Pub, Marylebone from 5.30pm where guests can enjoy complimentary refreshing Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0% and aperitivo. Odudu will quiz guests on their womanly knowledge, with rounds covering feminism, pop-culture and beauty.

Peroni Nastro Azzurro marketing manager, Anja Gottschalk said: “Peroni Nastro Azzurro is delighted to be launching an inclusive pub quiz at the Flowerhouse Pub.”
Launched by Jo Jackson, previously chief creative officer at Made.com, the Flowerhouse Pub is on a mission to empower women in the hospitality industry. The unashamedly feminine interiors have been curated through working with women-led building contractors, designers and gardeners.

The pub’s aim is to give women from all backgrounds and ages a step up onto the hospitality ladder through apprenticeships and training schemes.

Tickets cost £10 and are available here​ 

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Fiona Dickie

FIona Dickie PCA

Q: Name   ​                

A: Fiona Dickie

Q: Job title               

A: Pubs code adjudicator

Q: Time in the trade 

A: 4 years

Q: Best advice received    

A: ​I’ll tell you the worst instead, because I did the opposite from what I was told. A former male boss once advised me to tone down my assertiveness. I was the only woman in a senior role in the whole organisation (that’s been the case a number of times in my career in various organisations).

I told him I had leadership qualities admired in men and he would not have said that to me if I was one. I’m glad I did. This underlined for me that sometimes the best advice is that which you can give to yourself.

Q: Advice given     

A: Keep going. I give that advice a lot and I’ve certainly applied it. If there’s an opportunity you won’t get it if you don’t put yourself forward. And if you fail you’ll always learn something about the process which will help you the next time. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and put what you’ve learned into practice. It can be that some women don’t have the confidence to see themselves in a senior role which rejection can fuel. But keep going; it’ll be worth it.

Q: Challenges faced    

A: I went on a massive learning curve about the pub trade when I took up appointment as Deputy PCA at the end of 2017, and I’m still learning all the time. I’ve embraced the opportunity for change mid-career. Change is good.

Q: Have things changed for women since you started your career in the sector?​     

A: I’m not seeing more women at boardroom level. Every one of the many trade events I attend is overwhelmingly male. When I look around the room the pubs trade still does not reflect the diversity of the modern workforce. There is a long way to go.

Q: What barriers are there to still overcome and how would you suggest this is tackled?

A: I’m the regulator so it’s not for me to tell businesses what steps they should take to ensure more women can rise up and gain promotion. I would not be surprised though if diversity at management level supported the sort of cultural change in the regulated sector which the Code is designed to bring.

At the PCA we have far more women applying for jobs than men, including for management roles, so we’re a public sector body with a very different demographic to the trade we regulate. I’m glad that we have created an environment in which women feel empowered to seek senior roles. Flexible working can appeal both to men and women. We’re always striving to achieve a balance.

Q: How can the sector #BreakTheBias?     

A: It won’t happen by accident, or by passively waiting for change. Perhaps the trade should look outside of itself at how other sectors have sought to encourage women into senior posts.

My other hat is as a judge of the first tier tribunal. It might surprise you to know, but now after many years of promoting equal opportunities about half of judges under 50 are women.

Sarah Taylor

Sarah.Taylor (1)

Q: Name

A: Sarah Taylor

Q: Job title

A: Partner at Poppleston Allen

Q: Time in the trade

A: 12 years

Q: Best advice received

A: I am very fortunate to have a mum who is a strong, independent woman and my biggest supporter. My mum taught me, from a very young age, that the sky was the limit in terms of what I could achieve in my career and life in general, and that the fact that I happened to be a woman should not hinder that in any way.  I have carried that mindset through into adulthood and it has served me very well.  Good advice!

Q: Advice given

A: Always be yourself.  ​I think there can be a tendency for women in lots of industries, including hospitality, to feel like they must behave in an aggressive manner or try to change their personality at work in order to progress in their careers.  Have the courage of your convictions, act with integrity and you will build trust with those around you and earn respect along the way.  That is how good leaders are made and great teams are formed, regardless of gender. We need to remember that you can be nice and be great at your job; the two are not mutually exclusive.

Q: Challenges faced

A: I find that hospitality is by its very nature full of warm and welcoming folks at all levels but there are occasions when I still register looks of surprise from some people when I tell them I am a partner in a law firm.  I have faced my fair share of condescending comments in hearings and meetings over the years, but I don’t take it personally and let my work speak for itself.

Q: Have things changed for women since you started your career in the sector?

A: There has been a shift towards gender equality in the sector, but we still have a long way to go.  Although the Covid-19 pandemic has been a horrendous time for our industry, we all had to adapt, innovate, pull together and work more flexibly.

There is a perception that working in hospitality demands long, late hours and weekend work and whilst that is true to an extent, due to the nature of the job, there are other opportunities in hospitality in management and leadership roles which can offer more flexibility.

Some of the most successful female leaders I know in the pub industry began in customer facing roles and have risen through the ranks to become the leaders of today.  It is not just on the operations side where women are taking the lead - we are now seeing a real growth in number of female brewers, such as Lidia De Petris, Charlotte Freeston and Valeria De Petris who created Gamma Ray for Beavertown Brewery, St Austell brewing director Georgina Young and Jaega Wise, founder and head brewer at Wildcard Brewery.

Q: What barriers are there to still overcome and how would you suggest this is tackled? 

A: I am lucky to work with a team of strong, intelligent women, many of whom are in management positions but there is still a gender gap at senior board level across the wider industry and I think the lack of representation at board level can be seen as a barrier by some women.  A number of my pub company clients have initiatives and mentoring programs to encourage the next generation of female leaders and we need to see more of that.

Q: How can the sector #BreakTheBias?

A: We need to have open and honest conversations about gender equality within our teams and across the sector.  We need to be as inclusive as possible and identify any barriers which are preventing women reaching their full potential. Let’s see more women being mentored in leadership positions and more women on the speaker’s bill at events. There are some fantastic women in our industry who can bring invaluable skills and insight to the sector.  We are doing ourselves a disservice if we do not capitalise on those skills and make those women feel valued and give them a voice. 

Fiona Moran

Fiona.Moran.000

Q: Name

A: Fiona Moran

Q: Job title

A: Head of operations at North Bar/North Brewing Co

Q: Time in the trade

A: 22 years

Q: Best advice received

A: Lead by example 

Q: Advice given

A: The same as received

Q: Challenges faced

A: I have been very lucky throughout my career in hospitality, and I haven't come up against too many challenges.  I have worked for progressive and supportive companies that have allowed me to grow and develop.

That being said during my career I have been poor at asking for opportunities as I would just  wait to be asked to take a step up, get a pay rise or ask for development  whether this be external training or internal from my leaders.

I think this is a trait for a lot of women, we don't often have the confidence to ask or we don't think we are good enough or we just get on with the job because we don't want to cause a fuss.

That has started to change for me in the past couple of years and I have found my voice more and more and I think this is due to experience and knowing I am good at what I do and it is ok to get it wrong sometimes. 

It is also very much down to the company I work for and the leaders of North making me feel comfortable suggesting an Idea, questioning a system or just asking for more.  In the past there have been times as I have progressed but then lost all confidence because I have not felt I have been listened to.

I think trust is a massive part of why I do feel empowered now and able to make changes and develop.  Without trust from both sides this is where confidence is lowered and unhappiness and frustration sneaks in.

Q: What barriers are there to still overcome and how would you suggest this is tackled?

A: Perceptions of job roles and who should be doing what has certainly changed since I started and different generations are starting to realise that the same role done by a male and female has the same weight.  I know my parents 20 years ago did not think that my role in this industry was important as they do now.

A big part of the changes we have seen over my tenure is down to educating people to get them to understand anyone can do a role and you are good at what you do.

I do see a divide between the bars and brewing world.  I have around 50% female staff in the bars (including managers) and we have seen this across the industry.  We joke that women are better but that is not the case it is always down to the individual it is just now we are seeing more women in senior roles because we have allowed them to feel confident and they can do whatever they want and put their mind to.  It is about the trust again and reaffirming that they are good at what they do.

There are more women in the brewing world but we still have a long way to go, I spoke at the Brewers Journal lectures last week and out of 100 people there were only about 4 women who attended.

I do see this slowly changing, one we are educating people through social media and women in this industry having more of a presence so this will encourage more to apply for these roles.  Also the past 10 years we have seen a shift in how women perceive beer as the range and styles have grown 10 fold.  In our Bars and Tap Rooms there is a heavy female presence which is brilliant to see and the reason they feel so comfortable in our bars is because we make them feel at ease with all the weird and wonderful beers they can drink, we do not make them feel stupid!

One of the many issues you see in the corporate world is women being paid a lot less than men for doing the same job, this I have never seen in the companies I have worked for and I do not believe you see it in the hospitality industry which is a real positive.

Q: How can the sector #BreakTheBias?

A: Culture within every business is at the heart of change and this is what we need to keep working on.  Every staff member needs to be made to feel happy and welcome at work and the more we do to enable staff to enjoy their job and the company they work for will mean not only productivity will increase but other people out their will want to work for you and you will get a diverse team that doesn't exclude anyone.

Rebekha Wilkins

peach.pubs.37

Q: Job title

A: Marketing director, Peach Pubs

Q: Time in the trade

A: 15 years

Q: Best advice received

A: Quite often you are the most knowledgeable person in the room in your field, that inner confidence should give you the strength to lean in and be involved, especially in a room when you might feel like you’re the minority.

Q: Advice given

A: You be you, leverage your strengths, and always keep growing, learning and developing. We have the power to change and adapt, so use that ability and never stand still.

Q: Challenges faced

A: Apart from the obvious challenges in the macro environment? There’s a tough year ahead for hospitality, and lots to navigate. Until the ship steadies, it’s going to be hard to focus on much else!
Have things changed for women since you started your career in the sector? I would like to think conversations around sexism, and banter has become more commonplace in hospitality and we are eliminated some of the toxic culture that once was. I think women are feeling more empowered to be heard and speak up when something is said out of place, which is amazing and is a huge leap forward from when I was a young waitress joining the industry.

Q: What barriers are there to still overcome and how would you suggest this is tackled?

A: There can sometimes be some lack of awareness, especially around what is ‘banter’ and mental health. We are definitely moving in the right direction, but we have to continue to engage in conversations around bias, diversity, inclusion and such topics to develop an understanding of the issues that some face. We have to be open and have a willingness to listen, that way we can have empathy and even though we might not have had the same experience, relating and discussing the barriers will help hugely.

Q: How can the sector #BreakTheBias?

A: Spark conversations and make change in your business. No matter how small, do anything you have the power to do. From having a conversation about something you saw or heard, to initiating discussions that directly tackle bias, be confident to bold to talk about the issues that matter most to you.

Helen Lees

H

Q. Job title:

A. CEO MyPubGroup.LTD ( FindMyPub.com)

Q. Time in the trade:

A. 22 Years

Q: Best advice received

A:  ​You can achieve anything you want to in life if you are prepared to put the work in, there will always be challenges but remain strong and resolute and the rewards will come for you.

Q: Advice given

A: Never make excuses for being a woman, a parent, or a friend it is those elements that make you you! Compassion, strength, loyalty and the many more facets will enhance your ability to be great in your career.

Q: Challenges faced

A. The biggest challenge I have faced is myself and belief in my own ability and my desire to stay behind the scenes.

Q: Have things changed for women since you started your career in the sector?

A. Things have changed, there is far more discussion and support for Women in business, more women in our sector than when I started, and I do think attitudes have changed to some degree.

Q: What barriers are there to still overcome and how would you suggest this is tackled?

The barriers will be overcome in time, firstly we must teach those in our teams and our wider businesses that Women can add so much value, not to dimmish the value of our male or other counterparts but that as Women we can offer and bring to the table our own approach to compliment.

Kate Nicholls

Kate Nicholls

Q: Job title

A: Chief executive, UKHospitality

Q: Time in the trade

A: 27 years

Q: Best advice received

A: Be authentic and bring the real you to work. In this role, that means staying focused and true to what the industry needs and wants, but being open and honest about what is achievable, while also holding up a mirror to the things we need to change to get there. It’s about speaking truth to power – on both sides. At a more personal level, it’s about letting the real person shine through: keeping too much of a professional demeanour meant I lost out at times on opportunities within work because people didn’t know the real me.

Q: Advice given

A: ‘Lift as you climb’. This is something I’ve tried to do throughout my career, particu­larly being a woman working in several male-dominated industries. It came from one of my first bosses at Whitbread, who always emphasised the importance of being helpful and supportive to everyone, and I’ve tried to carry it through to others and build supportive networks. It certainly underpinned the work I did with Plan B on mentoring, and with WiHTL [Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure] on diversity and inclusivity, at the start of my role in UKHospitality.

Q: Challenges faced

A: Undoubtedly the last two years have been the most challenging of my entire career. I had my first meeting on Covid with Government on 28 January 2020, and could see the all-encompassing social, economic and health challenges it could bring, but never anticipated it would be as relentless as it has been since then.

At the height of the pandemic, with the hospitality industry teetering on the edge of an abyss, there were times that were very bleak indeed. And along with lots of other hospitality leaders during Covid, I’d become something of an emotional sponge: not that I realised it at the time, but I’d been absorbing all the worst fears of thousands of operators faced with impending ruin with, in many cases, their life’s work in tatters. At the same time, I wanted to put protective arms around the UKHospitality team, many of them young people, experiencing a never-before-witnessed event.

The sense of frustration was massive, and we were frequently reduced to tears. But I took inspiration from the amazing operators out there who, even as their businesses fell apart, were quietly getting on with housing the homeless and NHS workers, feeding front line workers, hungry school children and the lonely and vulnerable in their communities, turning their businesses into village shops, and supporting the supply chain. It was the very worst of times, but undoubtedly brought out the best in our sector. It was humbling indeed to be their voice at that most difficult time.

Q: Have things changed for women since you started your career in the sector?

A: Happily, there’s significantly better representation now across all levels of the business. At the inaugural ALMR [Association of Licenced Multiple Retailers] Christmas Lunch in the mid-1990s, you could count the women in the room on the fingers of one hand, but now we’ve more than 50% at operational levels.

When I started at UKHospitality in 2018, we weren’t on track to meet the Hampton Alexander targets for female representation on Boards and gender pay, but four-years-on and we’re now at a broad hospitality sector level, having almost eliminated the gender pay gap – it’s the narrowest of all sectors of the economy – while at the same time boasting a third of all Board positions being female occupied.  What’s more, unlike other sectors, our representation is at executive, not just non-executive, level; and, crucially, is extremely strong at ex-comm level, meaning we’ve a strong pipeline of talent coming through.

Q: What barriers are there to still overcome and how would you suggest this is tackled?

A: While we’re certainly getting better, there remains lots to do, especially in the pub and tenanted pub sectors. We’re still losing too many good women from the sector once they move up beyond operations manager level, and we continue to place too great an emphasis on the operational background to the most senior Board positions. We must make it easier at all levels, while at the same time enabling all employees to balance work and family commitments, provide the ladders back through to ex-comm and senior level roles, and place greater value on experience in some of the less obviously operational functions. By doing all that, we’ll create more rounded leaders and more diverse Boards.

Q: How can the sector #BreakTheBias?

A: This is wider than just women: with the current chronic labour shortages across the sector, we have to use this as a Covid reset moment and look again at employability in the round, ensure ours is genuinely the best industry in which to work, provide real career opportunities, and rethink ways of working that  support our teams.

If we’re to break the bias, it’s imperative that we do more to recruit and, crucially, promote blind – we spend a lot of time and focus on this at the entry point, but don’t always see and think the same way when it comes to internal promotions. Hospitality should be recruiting the most diverse teams if it’s  to provide the best service to our diverse customers.

And finally, our sector needs to provide more mentoring support, particularly for women, recognising that there is a very real difference in the way in which men and women approach and respond to support, and the fact that there’s gender bias towards waiting to be asked or offered, and fewer opportunities for the informal mentoring and support networks that many men take for granted. The Plan B mentoring initiative is designed to address that, because it provides an easy way in which to access excellent mentoring support, and builds a supportive network of ambassadors and champions within businesses, not just mentors and mentees.

Suzanne Baker

SUZANNE.BAKER.PIC.1.2

Q: Name

A: Suzanne Baker

Q: Job title

A: Commercial director, Stonegate Group 

Q: Best advice received

A: Surround yourself by a solid network of support.

Q: Advice given

A: Passion, commitment, and energy = success.

There are no two ways about it, you have to work hard! You also need to keep that believe in yourself.  Build a network around you.  Today there are many females in middle and senior management, it’s a different world from when I started in the sector. Set your goals and don’t get distracted in your ambition to achieve them 

Q: Challenges faced

A: Being responsible for purchasing and property always throws up challenges even though you plan for change and put contingencies in place, however 2020 saw those challenges magnified to the nth degree.   On the eve of the pandemic crisis, Stonegate Group became the biggest pub company in the UK, operating not just as a managed business, but an additional  4,000 strong legacy leased and tenanted businesses from the Ei Group.

My whole role intensified and expanded overnight. My team tripled at a time when face-to-face meetings were impossible, so welcoming new team members and nurturing them into the Stonegate family was particularly challenging. 

Throughout that period and the constant changes to operational permissions imposed by Government my team and I had to safely reopen and close thousands of pubs multiple times.  Working in partnership with our suppliers we negotiated through supply issues that were impacted both by the pandemic and Brexit, and at the same time consolidating our supply chain through negotiating some of the biggest contracts in the sector.

It was much to my surprise and delight that these efforts were recognised by peers in the Industry when I was presented with the prestigious Retailer’s Retailer Hero Award in 2021.  

Q: Have things changed for women since you started your career in the sector?

A: The whole employment landscape has changed throughout my career, not just for women. Diversity and inclusion is much more of a strategic focus nowadays. Equality awareness is shaping policies and  now underpins the foundations of company culture and ethos across the industry.

Within Stonegate our career pathways set out how you can go from bar to board, alongside that we have a number of support practices, including female mentoring, to ensure the women in our business feel as equal as the men when looking to progress.

There will always be a need for constant improvement as society and social norms therefore we need to keep abreast of change and adapt to ensure hospitality it the most sought after and welcoming place to work.

Q: What barriers are there to still overcome and how would you suggest this is tackled?

A: The biggest impact women in our industry can make right now is to ensure that the women working in our industry understand that there are career paths to the top.

Within Stonegate Group we operate an inclusive policy amongst our employees as well as our customers.  My passion is to enable our employees to achieve their potential irrespective of background, colour or creed.  A huge step forward for us as a business was the introduction of a mentoring programme that I instigated in conjunction with our HR team.  Personally, I have now been mentoring a fantastic lady in the property team to boost her confidence to help her to step up to that next stage of management and responsibility.

I believe that each of us within senior positions of responsibility should be mentoring and supporting females at all levels.  Progress will take time however programmes such as those we run within Stonegate Group, helps to facilitates this, building confidence and knowledge, and helping to direct the talented female leaders of the future. 

Q: How can the sector #BreakTheBias?

A: There needs to be a collective effort to even the playfield for everyone.  As a sector we work together on many issues and challenges, empowerment, and recognition of women in the sector needs to move up the agenda and more done to recognise and celebrate the successes of those who are making a difference at all levels.

Sarah Willingham

RESIZEDSarah.Willingham.must.credit.Nicky.Johnston
(credit: Nicky Johnston)

Q: Name

A: Sarah Willingham

Q: Job title

A: CEO and founder of Nightcap

Q: Time in the trade

A: 35 years

Q: Best advice received

A: Surround yourself with brilliant people in life and work.

Q: Advice given

A: As above

Q: Challenges faced

A: Global pandemic, doing an IPO in hospitality, during a hard lockdown and no vaccine when everyone advised me against it. Nightcap plc IPO got there kicking and screaming and we’ve been very successful

Q: Have things changed for women since you started your career in the sector?

A: It was very male dominated when I first started. Now there are more women working in hospitality and more senior women and they are coming up the ranks. We are not underestimated anymore.

I once walked in a room doing a deal for Pizza Express back in the day, I was the one in charge and a guy said ‘ oh thank god we can get the coffees now’.  He thought I was there to wait on him.... I got the coffee, in fact for everyone. Then I sat down and said right let’s talk about this deal... he was mortified, we got the deal done, I had the control so it was a good deal. Never underestimate me or any woman ....

Q: What barriers are there to still overcome and how would you suggest this is tackled?

A: Two fold for me:

EMOTIONAL

Imposter syndrome is a positive and negative and can be passed down. That feeling of not belonging. It’s actually a super power and a lot of women should own it.

PRACTICAL

Difficult to mix motherhood and work, you want a career and be a mum but also a ‘present’ mum and be around for them. We need childcare for young children or women will stop work. Important they are supported through the ranks.

Q: How can the sector #BreakTheBias?

A: Encouraging more women from the bottom into the funnel up to stay and eventually go into senior positions.

Sarah says, ‘ I started as a waitress and I have just floated a business on the stock market. Work your way up ....’

Danielle Davies

RESIZEDDanielle.Davies Revolution CFO

Q: Name

A: Danielle Davies

Q: Job title:

A: CFO Revolution Bars Group 

Q: Time in the trade:

A: 15 months

Q: Best advice received

A: Don’t take everything personally

Q: Advice given

A: Try and give every interaction with everybody your 100% attention

Q: Challenges faced

A: Joining the hospitality industry at the end of the first lockdown!

Q: Have things changed for women since you started your career in the sector?

A: I’ve only been in the industry for a short period of time and have been fortunate to have had a really positive experience. I haven’t experienced any of the challenges that some other women might have done in the sector. The Board of Revolution Bars Group is 40% female and the executive leadership is now majority female, so I am proud to be a part of that and hope that what we have at Revs can become more normal across the industry.

Q: What barriers are there to still overcome and how would you suggest this is tackled?

A: The late-night sector, in particular, can be hard for women to visualise how their role can accommodate them having a young family. There isn’t an easy solution to this but career pathways and mentoring, which show how career direction can change and move forward internally within the company or sector, can help stop the talent drain at a certain point of our lives. I’m endlessly inspired by the women I meet in the industry who make this work, we should share and celebrate their stories.

Q: How can the sector #BreakTheBias?

A: Constantly ask for feedback, act on it and call out bias when we see it, in the moment we see it. If we are serious about breaking the bias it has to be a journey we embark on and stick to

Helen Charlesworth

HC.Headshot.2.000

Q: Name

A: Helen Charlesworth

Q: Job title

A: Managing director, Stonegate Group

Q: Best advice received

A: “To be yourself and more of yourself”

Q: Advice given

A: The same that was given to me all those years ago “To be yourself and more of yourself”

Q: Challenges faced

A: For me, I have always seen challenges as opportunities, and I have never allowed myself to wallow in any difficulty or pity that they might bring. Everyone goes through personal challenges that shapes their career and life choices, mine have made me resilient, self-aware and unapologetically ‘me’.

More recently, becoming the largest Pubco and then trading it during a pandemic was unprecedented. Everyone in our sector, I am sure, faced similar challenges of maintaining levels of motivation and good mental health within a business that was being bombarded by such great external forces.

Throughout my career, there has always been professional challenges that come out of left-field. Admittedly, none of the scale that we have all been impacted by in the past two years. However, I have always held myself to account as to what I learn during testing times and how I can grow, move forward and inspire others.

Q: Have things changed for women since you started your career in the sector?

A: The biggest change is of awareness. Diversity, inclusion and equality of all types is now further up the corporate and societal agenda. When I first started, I recall the way to succeed was through grit, resilience, and determination. Now, there is more focus on objective talent.

Across the industry, there is a more positive approach to women taking more senior roles. At Stonegate, our bar to boardroom ethos underpins everything we do, and we create opportunities and career paths for anyone with a drive to succeed. This brings us balance and openness from a diversity and inclusion perspective. We support each other, whether that’s through our Female Mentoring Programme, or our learning and development schemes.

Q: What barriers are there to still overcome and how would you suggest this is tackled?

A: From my personal experience and how I lead my teams, barriers are only there if you put them there yourself or you allow others to impede your path.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not believe that people go through life consciously hindering others, however I recognise that sometimes other people’s implied behaviour can mean that you need to dig deep and find a way round.

Q: How can the sector #BreakTheBias?

A: By our very nature, hospitality is fun and welcoming for all. Across the industry, we pride our companies on providing something for everyone - our doors are open to anyone. Therefore, if this is how we welcome our customers, we should do the same for our employees. At Stonegate we are incredibly mindful of this, but we are always striving to do better but that is why this is always on our agenda.

Personally, I do believe our industry is moving in the right direction when it comes to diversity and inclusion. However, I recognise there is a way to go. We need to empower our people and the future generation of industry leaders to believe in themselves, be unashamedly true to themselves and to shape new paths for themselves.

Now is not a time to sit on laurels or dwell on wishful notions, it is time to take control of progress, create opportunities for ourselves and encourage and support our future generations to be role models and inspiration for years to come.

The Morning Advertiser’s International Women’s Day coverage is sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro, which is an Asahi UK brand. Asahi UK is home to an exceptional portfolio of premium beer, ale and cider brands, including category leaders in the UK.

The range includes international brands Peroni Nastro Azzurro, the No.1 Super Premium lager in the UK with every drop brewed in Italy; Japan’s No.1 beer, Asahi Super Dry, and firm favourite for the UK, Grolsch.

A portfolio to be envied which also includes local heroes: Fuller’s London Pride, Meantime, Dark Star and Cornish Orchards. Asahi UK’s focus is on enriching experiences for our customers and consumers through innovation, unrivalled service and offering brands with undeniable quality and provenance. 

Asahi UK believes that every business has a responsibility to understand and act upon its environmental impact and we continuously work towards sharing more information with our suppliers, customers and consumers about both the footprint of our beers, and how we are working to reduce it.

Our place in the local community is highly valued and we strive to ensure that we are always making a positive contribution to the communities in and around our UK Breweries. For more information on Asahi UK and parent organisation, Asahi Europe International visit www.asahibeer.co.uk​.

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