by Stephanie Stubbs, Deputy Managing Director of Hickory

Of course, we at Hickory will be saluting women around the globe on Sunday 8th March – but to be honest, supporting working women is something we do all year round.   It’s not for nothing that we were voted Best Place for Women to Work in 2017 and shortlisted in 2018 at the Business Women Scotland Awards.  Purveyors of fabulous events and phenomenal food, we’ve been championing female talent from the get go.

The Board of Directors at Hickory is two thirds female – something we are hugely proud of.  Susan Ireland, our CEO, has always been a strong mover and shaker in the Edinburgh business world and she is a massive supporter of women in executive roles, saying, “In my experience, women deal especially well with matters relating directly to clients and staff; with team dynamics; long term planning, and, interestingly, risk.”

There’s no glass ceiling at Hickory, with a clear career path for those young women who join us, no matter how junior their first role might be.  With around 50% of our senior managers being women, there’s a culture of female inspiration and aspiration that flows right through our organisation, providing great role models for junior staff.  And we believe in rewarding high achievement with fast-track promotion and recognition for those who show real drive along the way.

As well as being Deputy MD of Hickory  I’m also now a proud board member for Women in Tourism, a position I relish as a way to help women across our industry thrive and succeed, while maintaining that all important life-work balance (something I feel keenly right now having had my first baby exactly a year ago).

At Hickory, women are encouraged not just in sales, marketing and management but in that traditionally all-male environment, the commercial kitchen.  Once arguably a place where machismo, punishing hours and blokey banter were king, these days the rise of household name female restaurant chefs and zero tolerance for sexist attitudes have combined to make professional hospitality workplaces much more accepting.   And none more so than the Hickory kitchen.  Here our trainee chef Suzanne Price is a rising star among her male compatriots, and with Rachael Elder, a female KP and Commis too, we actively encourage young women to consider the kitchen brigade as a fantastic place to work.

To sum up, I think there are three key ‘must haves’ to support women in the workplace:

  • Equal pay (obviously)
  • Flexible working
  • Fair maternity and paternity policies

If more employers simply followed these as a bare minimum, many women would find it easier to excel in this environment – thus retaining talent across the board (quite literally).

So let’s raise a glass (in our case, a Hickory cocktail) for International Women’s Day and work together (and yes, that includes men) to celebrate women of all ages at work every single day of the year.

Learn more about International Women’s Day 2020 on their website.