IWD Interview: On Balance

In the third in our series of conversations, Account Manager Erin Bertram had the pleasure of chatting with Louisa Kerr, Head of Sales & Marketing  at Rosebery Venues. 

Louisa is a female leader who champions equality in her industry and is driving real change for women in the workplace. Read on for more…

Check out another inspiring interview here.

Erin: What in your view is the biggest barrier to women succeeding at work?

Louisa:  The events industry does tend to be female-heavy. I am not sure why – I presume our organisational skills and ability to juggle many balls helps! 

Erin:  This is also true of marketing!

Louisa:  The main barrier I see is that women tend to carry a disproportionate share of the domestic load. This means we lose many great event professionals when they have families. All too often, they will find it difficult to return to operational positions after having children when working antisocial hours is impossible. The ‘always available’ culture that seems to have crept into the British workplace is a real problem for women.

Erin: Do you think bringing about better balance will lead to more women returning to focus on their career?

Louisa: It will make juggling parenthood and professional life more achievable, however, we also need to look at the real issue around senior female leadership. Gaps in employment due to time spent raising a family and a consequently slower career progression can result in fewer women in higher positions a tragic drop in the talent pool of women at mid-career levels.

Erin: How can this be combatted?

Louisa: If we can see it, we can be it. Where are the strong female role models in the hospitality industry the next generation can aspire to? We need to support women in achieving their goals and celebrating female talent and success to increase their visibility!

Erin: How does your sector fare on gender equality? Can more can be done?

Louisa:  Whilst the sector fares well with the proportion of women in the industry, they only represent around 25% of the ‘big’ jobs. Solutions to this would be nurturing and promoting from within and structuring the business to ensure that long antisocial shifts are eradicated. This would ensure flexibility, allowing their job to work with their domestic situation and, therefore, encouraging them to stay in the events industry.

Erin: Are there any initiatives at Rosebery Venues or that you are aware of that are helping to promote inclusion?

Louisa:  We have adopted a business model which supports the busy working mum – hurrah! We realised that much of the talent and experience that Rosebery Venues needed were only interested in part time hours as they needed a balance with their family commitments. 

We have adopted a job share model, ensuring a crossover day for all event managers with one dedicated day a week when we are all together. This works brilliantly for staff and clients who will always have an experienced member of the team on hand.

We have also employed operations managers who can physically deliver the event rather than the event managers doing it all. 

This model has also given our team the skills and experience to deliver 5-star events and bring about the support and flexibility they desire. Further, we also employ a pool of seasonal staff to support the operations team, flexing up and down when we need to. 

A special thank you to Louisa for joining our #IWD2023 forum and being part of the global conversation on #EmbracingEquity. 

While, we’ve been focused on bringing about equality in the workplace, we appreciate it needs to come through in all areas, and Represent supports this! 

See our social channels for more on the topic and join the discussion throughout Women’s History Month.

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