INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
We are proud to champion equality in every way, and for International Women’s Day. We thought we’d share the journey of Shelley Mclean our Deputy Hotel Manager one of many inspiring women at TheWesley Hotel.
1. Tell us about your professional story/history?
It all started at the age of 20 when I joined TheWesley (formerly known as MIC). I had never worked in hotels before, and I had no idea what I wanted to do within my career. I had some experience in events and customer service, and for me, this was a way to expand on this in a similar field. Within the first 6 months, I knew this was something for me. I was focused, I enjoyed what I was doing, and I was learning new things. It developed from there as I moved from Sales Executive to Meetings & Events Manager.
Then ‘life’ happened, and I became a mum! Working and being a mum was a shock to the system at the time, so I decided to take a break and focus on my family and realising this meant focusing on myself too. Something we can all easily forget to do. I worked within other hotels in the same role, with some great experiences, but I wanted more for myself. An opportunity presented itself here at TheWesley, and here I am some years later back home as Deputy Hotel Manager.
2. Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?
I think it is important because the role of women has developed in such a way that we are strengthening each other. As well as learning not to be afraid to take on roles that are not expected of us. With that, we are slowly being recognised for our success. As a female population and where difference is being ‘valued and celebrated’.
I think this year’s focus on ‘break the bias’ is great! As we are reminding ourselves and others that everything, we do now is helping our future generations. Shining a positive light on gender equality, diversity, and to stamp out discrimination, bias, and stereotype.
Over the years, there has been a vast improvement in the way we are treated, including how we are towards each other. I believe we are much better supported and understood. But there is always room for more!
3. Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?
As we grow, our perception of what life expects from us as women (stereotype), and what some of us want (gender equality, free from bias and discrimination) are two different things.
Stepping into a full-time career where I want to achieve more. But at the same time have the role of mum can be difficult. So, the barrier for me was trying to juggle full-time work vs being a full-time mum and facing the challenge of agreeing on flexibility with work. I made it work, I agreed to a plan with my employers, they understood my circumstances, we set goals, and I stuck to it.
4. How can we encourage more women to pursue senior leadership roles in their career?
I think this needs to start at the bottom. Women already in such roles should encourage other females and become advocates/mentors. Encouraging women to face and challenge any barriers they have and know their worth, and that if they want something, they should go and get it.
Leadership is not directly taught, I think it is more of a skill you develop, and then from there, you decide if you take that skill further based on your personal career goals. Some industries are so male-dominated it can be daunting, so if we have more women at the top, we inspire others. A senior leadership position is for the taking, no matter who you are, so we should be able to put ourselves forward with confidence, and not have to work twice as hard whilst there to be equal.
5. What do you think is the biggest issue today facing women of your age?
From personal experience, I would say finding a work-life balance. It is doable but is not easy. As millennials, we are a generation who want to encourage change, so we push. We want more out of our careers, and as women, we want inclusion, and the challenges we are faced with today addressed in a fair way. #breakthebias
6. What is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?
Don’t be afraid to push yourself and go for your goals. Be patient, take baby steps where you need to and do not lose sight of your vision. There is a difference between a job and a career, and I think this can easily be misinterpreted at a young age. It isn’t easy, but as we continue to recognise days such as #IWD2022, and continue to support and encourage one another always, and not just on days like today, these small changes begin to make it that bit easier. Look how far we have come already.
It is ok to make mistakes, we learn from them, and that’s what makes us better and more experienced. It is ok to not know what you want, or what is for you, we must try before we get there. But most importantly, we must always put ourselves first and dare to be different.
Be the only female in the boardroom if you must be, embrace it, that is one step further for all of us!
For more information on International Women’s Day 2022 CLICK HERE!
Read our recent blogs!
How to avoid parking restriction’s in Central London! CLICK HERE!
Sustainability at TheWesley 2022! CLICK HERE!