1) What has brought you to the role you’re in now?
I was previously working for Hilton in Chicago and decided to stay with the brand once my visa expired. I received a few job offers in the UK but I had a good feeling about Belfast so I packed my bags and moved there for what was meant to be a 9-month contract as Assistant Front Office Manager. 8 months later my instincts were proven right when I obtained a promotion to the Front Office Manager position!
2) What obstacles have you had to overcome along the way?
I have lived and worked in 7 different countries, so I would say that my main obstacles would be the challenges that come with that; may it be cultural or language barriers, leadership styles or sometimes simply being homesick. But you learn from all that and you grow. As a woman, it allowed me to open my eyes to how different a woman’s place in society and the workplace can be from one country to another. I also learned not to have preconceived ideas because everywhere I went I found some people treating me as equal to other male colleagues and some openly questioning me for putting my career first. I have seen my fair share of gender stereotypes, but once again, you learn from all these different encounters.
3) What’s kicks you back up when you face the tough times?
After taking a minute to myself, I would generally find a project, personal or professional. Or plan a trip. Some food and wine can help too!
4) Who’s your biggest icon and why?
Simone Veil. I admire her for her bravery (she was deported to Auschwitz during WW2 and lost most of her family) and the fundamental impact on Women’s rights she had in France. Despite the tremendous challenges of being a woman in politics at that time…
… she never gave up and paved the way for so many laws improving the lives of so many.
5) What bit of advice would you give to your teenage self?
It is ok to put yourself first sometimes. You don’t have to always be strong for everyone. Give yourself a break, it’s going to be fine.
Interested in working in a company with such incredible, inspiring women? Get in touch with Charley on firstname.lastname@example.org