This week, to mark International Women’s Day on March 8, 2023, HM is giving female leaders in the accommodation industry a platform to share their views on ways to support women in hospitality careers.

Here, EVT Area General Manager, Lisa Parker, recounts her experiences working with women in hospitality and points to the important skills that have helped her build trust with her teams.

I commenced my hospitality career at 18 years old, working in operational roles firstly at the Brisbane Club and then at Victoria’s, the fine dining restaurant at the Hilton Hotel Brisbane. I can count on one hand the number of female staff working in these venues at the time, and it is fantastic to see how much our industry has evolved.

I’ve been fortunate to have opportunities presented to me that enabled my progression through the ranks of management at various high-end restaurants during my late 20s and early 30s. I also had an opportunity to detour into a teaching role at two hospitality schools for five years. It was incredibly rewarding to be a part of other people’s career journeys and to share my passion for the industry.

I then returned to operations and started my own consultancy business. During this time, I co-hosted a TV show, Conviction Kitchen, which saw 12 ex-criminals navigate re-entering the workforce after incarceration. Four of my six front of house staff were female and I was heavily invested in helping them turn their lives around through working in hospitality. I was incredibly proud of what we achieved and I am still in contact with two of the ladies today.

Twelve years ago, I returned to the hotel industry, joining EVT as EAM at Rydges Melbourne. The management team there were largely female which was a fantastic, supportive environment. EVT has a great approach to diversity, striving for our teams to mirror the communities that we operate in. While at EVT, one of the most enjoyable parts of my role has been the ability to assist in developing a number of team members into leadership roles.

I believe my strength is time management, and that together with empathy are keys to my success. These are important skills to have when developing teams. I believe empathy and encouragement is paramount to building trust which in turn increases team morale.

It is well documented, women tend to experience self-doubt, mum guilt and imposter syndrome in the workplace. Key to our success and continual development is flexibility, empowerment and high levels of engagement, which is very much part of the culture at EVT.