Co-Founder at Become, Chief Marketing Officer WHTT
I would say my superpower is my ability to put myself in someone else’s shoes. Whether it’s with my friends, fiancé, clients or colleagues, I always try and view a situation from their perspectives. I find this has been imperative to truly be able to understand people's needs, opinions and actions. As soon as you can understand someone’s intent or point of view, it’s much easier to know how to act accordingly.
Like any superpower, it has its drawbacks. I’ve found at times I can get too emotionally involved in other people’s situations. Being empathetic isn’t something you can just switch on and off!
How do your strengths play into the work you do?
As Co-Founder of Become, an initiative supporting young women of colour to kickstart their careers, I think it’s really important for me to be empathetic. In a way, that’s what drove me to start the business. When you hear the statistics on how the odds are stacked up against women of colour, it’s shocking. Only 6% of FTSE 100 CEO’s are women, and none are women of colour. That has to change. We set up Become to inspire women of colour with talks from successful women in industry, as well as mentoring sessions, shadowing opportunities, internships and grad schemes. We also partnered with CAMFED (Campaign for Female Education in Africa) so that those that come to and learn from our events, will also be helping women in Africa with their education too, as the ticket profits go to CAMFED.
Imagine your best hospitality / hotel experience – what does that look like?
My best hotel experience would have to be at The Hoxton hotels. They really do go above and beyond with their customers! I hate how at some hotels they really try and catch you out, with expensive mini bars, inflated prices for breakfast and paying extra for wifi etc. The Hoxton cut all of that out, so you can genuinely just relax. Buy yourself a chocolate bar for the same price as it is at the supermarket down the road, you get a little breakfast bag to eat in bed or take with you on the go as well which is so handy. The beds are unbelievably comfy and they genuinely care that your experience is special, whether you’re a first stay or a long term customer.
What brings you the greatest joy at work?
I think the greatest joy is when you can see that your work has helped someone or positively impacted on them. It feels amazing when someone validates our work by saying they really see the value in what we’re doing. You suddenly feel like what you’ve created is really worthwhile. Similarly, it’s so touching the number of people who want to offer up their services and help you. People are busy, so for them to take time out of their day is really special. We’ve had so many offers from people wanting to help mentor others, or give back in some way and that’s always the most positive part of my day.
My advice for women in hospitality and travel-tech would be…
There is always space for you, even if sometimes it feels like there isn’t. I’ve found that people who are in hospitality absolutely love it and have worked very hard to be there, studying hospitality and/or working their way from the bottom up. There’s a lot of graft involved in it, and it can be really gruelling at times but if it’s right for you, stick with it. It’s an amazing industry and the rewards can be fantastic, so keep working up that ladder or changing departments until you find the role that you enjoy most.
No role is off limits, if you want to be a GM one day then go for it! If you want to be Head of Housekeeping then keep pushing for it! Learn from those around you and be honest with them about your goals so they can help you get there.