Combo General Manager Novotel Glasgow-Ibis Glasgow City Centre, Chair GGHA
What was your favourite subject at school? Maths, but it’s a hard question I loved Modern Studies, Chemistry, English and Latin, my French has come in handy along the way.
What was your first job? Working at the Glasgow Garden Festival in Littlewoods Tea-room.
Which is your favourite restaurant /hotel? Novotel Berlin Tiergarten, it’s next to the park and zoo with a flea market outside at the weekend. Team are lovely and we have fond memories of visiting.
How do you inspire your team ? I don’t, they inspire me with their capacity for learning, trying new things, having different cultures, I give them the freedom to explore the person they want to be to achieve our shared goals.
Which person in hospitality have you most admired / inspired you? Scott Taylor, always positive but had a clear goal and found any way to achieve it in a way that took his team with him and respected everyone around.
How do you manage your stress levels? I don’t. Some stress is good like the focus you need for an exam or a presentation, it’s a natural response to tune your physical response. It’s when that response doesn’t switch off it can be destructive so I analyse how I am feeling and break the cycle, go for a walk, meet a friend for lunch, go and chat to a guest/colleague so I change the environment I am in.
Instagram, Twitter or Facebook – and why? None, I made accounts but realised quickly that without tone and emotion words can be misconstrued, taken out of context and hurtful. They also have the power to offer hope but a smile can be heard the same as sadness can be seen and I prefer to offer someone my full attention, be in the moment with them, that comes from the heart. Try smiling at someone and making direct eye contact, they can’t help but smile back.
If you had not gone into hospitality, where do you
think you would be now? I didn’t initially, I studied metallurgy, a type of engineering, and worked for BP in an oil refinery because I liked chemistry at school. I left because the environment then was not as supportive of women. It was an all-male environment, other than me the only other women on site were in the offices. The professions I wanted to join like Police force had a height restriction for women, the military employed women but not in front line roles so I would have ended up for sure in a ”service” environment but hospitality was never promoted at school. After the garden festival I worked in The Buttery for two years whilst at university like most students do.
What did you do on your last days off? Took the dog for a walk, caught up with my parents, did the household chores, and a few episodes of my favourite tv shows.
What do you do to relax, to support your wellbeing? I give myself permission to disengage , keep the phone on silent, don’t check the emails. It’s ok if you don’t get everything done on the list just see the positive parts that you have done. It’s so easy to spiral downward but that becomes a very hard habit to break and you don’t make the best decisions. I have developed coping mechanisms and I will walk away to breath or give myself some thinking time.