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International Women's Day - Meet Emma Swales

This International Women's Day we're celebrating some of the amazing women who make up True North.

Today we meet Emma Swales, Head of Sales at True North.

How long have you worked for True North?

18 months.

What is your favourite thing about working at True North?

The individuality of the venues! They're all unique, have their own lovely quirks, and the people in them truly make them special.

What does International Women's Day mean to you?

It's a lovely celebration of women and their many different achievements. I find it's a very inspiring day that lifts all women's spirits throughout the world.

What challenges do women face in the hospitality industry?

I find it is a very male dominated industry, it's not unusual to be the only female manager or the only female board member in a hospitality business.

When you're in a minority of any kind, whether it be race, religion, sex, it can feel very daunting and quite lonely. I’ve found that being the minority in another hospitality business, I had to fight to be heard, and even then a lot of the time I wasn't truly listened to!

This is an issue in every industry, women that want to progress to any form of management level need to have a very strong character for this reason.

Why do you think diversity in the workplace is so important?

I'm a massive collaborator, so for me, getting different views and opinions, sharing information and ideas is the best way to innovate - the more diverse the workplace is, the more your innovative you can be.

How could you contribute your wisdom and expertise to empower other women, both in the hospitality industry and out?

I think the best way anyone can do this is by passing on knowledge. Whether this be teaching, coaching, being an ear to listen, or supporting someone through a challenge. I'll never say no to helping others, it's the best way to spread the love! I think keeping things to yourself, or not sharing knowledge is doing a great disservice to the world.

Is there anyone who inspires you in your career?

So many it's impossible to pick even a few!

If you could have dinner with three inspirational women, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

Oprah Winfrey, Indra Nooyi, and Queen Elizabeth – all incredibly inspirational women!


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