Women to Watch and Advocates for Change – Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure
We are absolutely delighted to have not one, but two inspiring women here at Revolution Bars Group featured in 2020’s Women to Watch published by Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure (WiHTL). Our very own Alex Young (Sales and Marketing Director) and Beth Anderson (People Director) make this illustrious shortlist we are so proud of them for doing so.
The list is published each year and features a shortlist of the most inspiring female role models from across the industry. These incredible females are nominated and selected because of their leadership, their commercial impact, their track record for entrepreneurial-ism and innovation to the wider sector or society at large.
We wanted to bring you and insight into both Alex and Beth’s features, but to access the whole list you will be able to find the links at the bottom of the blog.
Beth Anderson – People Director
Post University I took a job at Cameron’s Brewery to fund my master’s. I lectured at Hull University on the side but loved the hospitality industry so much that after travelling I applied as a manager at Revolution Bars Group. I was only in operations for 18 months, as my passion for helping people fulfill their potential soon became clear. I supported many people through our internal leadership program, so when a position in HR became available the HR Director called me to say he’d heard about the development I’d been doing across my region and he thought I would suit the “people space”.
Despite having no HR training, I took the plunge, beginning by managing our Trainee Assistant Manager programme. I then progressed to HR Business Partner for the South and later got the opportunity to do a national role as a Talent Development Manager. When the People Director role became available, I leapt at the opportunity. Because our CEO was relatively new to the business, he trusted me to act as the custodian of our existing values and culture, role modelling out ethos within the leadership team and ensuring a sense of belonging in every part of the business.
Quick Fire Questions
What have you done to promote diversity within your organisation?
We’ve started by establishing a women’s book club and showcasing flexible working patterns in both male and female senior leadership; we have held focus groups and are establishing diversity champions in the business. For my CIPD I investigated the General Manager diversity gap; consequently we’ve implemented several measures that increased the number of female General Managers across the business.
What are the biggest challenges facing women in HTL?
In the late-night sector, the “boys club” mentality was very prevalent. We need to do more to prevent people from feeling alienated or uncomfortable. Strong female role models are so important to inspire and encourage their female colleagues.
How has COVID-19 changed your perspective on the industry?
It’s re-balanced what’s important in life: it’s become more important to reserve time for friends and family than to work at 100 miles an hour every day. We’re continuing to check in with our colleagues’ mental health and healthy habits, and how we can facilitate and support those as a business moving forwards.
Alex Young – Sales and Marketing Director
After leaving school, I worked my way up through a series of admin jobs before falling into marketing by complete accident. My First proper role was in a safety critical software company, which was a fascinating exposure to the B2B world of aeroplanes and government. Next, I transitioned into the tyre industry, working on building relationships with tyre dealers around the UK. After this I moved into office supplied which taught me a lot about commercials and pricing – I rose from a maternity contract as Marketing Executive to Head of Marketing, working through a merger and honing my marketing skills in a highly commoditised environment.
It was only in my next role at an events and festivals business that I followed my dream into hospitality – my secondary school yearbook has me running a bar in Sydney! Suddenly, I was in a whole world of building outstanding food and drinks offerings at the best festivals and events in the UK, from Silverstone to Boomtown.
From my first interview at Revolution Bars Group, I knew it was the place that I Was meant to be. My team is brilliant, and though it’s the toughest role I’ve ever had, I genuinely love it.
Quick Fire Questions
What advice would you give the next generation of women entering the sector?
Have courage and confidence in your convictions; listen and be heard. Ask for feedback – the people who are brilliant at giving you actionable feedback are those who will shape who you become in your career.
How are you encouraging more women into the sector?
I’ve become a mentor off the back of a conversation I had with a team member about social media. We catch up regularly on anything and everything, as I feel it’s my duty to support and nurture women within my team and more widely in the business. I want people to feel they can approach me about everything.
What do you hope the HTL sector will look like in 5 years’ time?
I hope we find the right balance between harnessing technology and delivering the best customer experience through our amazing teams. That’s what makes hospitality special – if Amazon built a bar, there’s no doubt it would be slick, but it would lack the warmth our people bring.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed getting an insight into Beth and Alex’s careers and thoughts on the current climate within HTL. We are incredibly fortunate and privileged to have an abundance of talented females within our business at all levels. We hope that many more are inspired by the stories above and we look forward to developing future industry leading and creative female leaders in the year’s to come.
To access the full Index, please follow the link here https://issuu.com/tgdh/docs/j001973_mbs___women_to_watch_2020?fr=sOGZmZDIwNjMyOTQ
You can access the Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure website here https://www.wihtl.com/home