Celebrating International Women's Day 2020
International Women's Day is celebrated on 8 March each year and is a global day commending the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
To honour this day, we wanted to celebrate the wonderful women whose hard work, dedication and great customer service helps keep our pubs running.
We spoke with a number of women across the business and asked them about their careers, hardships, successes and more, and here is the result...
Hannah Joseph, General Manager at The Windjammer, Royal Docks
From starting at Fuller’s as a young bartender, Hannah has worked her way up the ranks and managed several pubs in the process. She’s an advocate for getting women into the hospitality industry and ensures that her team has an equal male to female ratio, as well as being from different walks of life, with a broad range of experience.
“As a woman I’ve always felt supported by Fuller’s and that I’ve had the same opportunities as men. Anything I’ve asked Fuller’s to do – be it a course or a different kind of role – I’ve been able to do and I’ve had that support. I try to do the same for my team and help them progress and to learn new things.”
Hannah’s latest challenge has been taking on The Windjammer – a brand new development located in the heart of Royal Wharf, opening on 12 March.
Laura Colombier, Service Coach at The Chamberlain Hotel, Tower Hill
Laura began her career at Fuller’s five years ago, working part time as a single mum of two (now three). She originally thought she would pursue dentistry but decided to stay with Fuller’s at The Chamberlain Hotel because she fell in love with the job. She was given the support she needed to develop in her role, while maintaining the important work-life balance. Now she's a Lead Service Coach, training and supporting Fuller's pub and hotel teams to go the extra mile for their guests.
“I started from nothing, with no qualifications as I skipped school, but I’ve come so far with the training and development. A year after starting at The Chamberlain I progressed to Service Coach, and then Lead Service Coach. I know Fuller’s inside out and I love working here."
Helen Wilson, General Manager at The Victoria, Paddington
Helen and her partner Chris have managed The Victoria for the past 18 years while raising two children and living above the pub. For Helen, running The Victoria is more than just a job. Her determination to remain on top and go above and beyond for her customers has put The Victoria at the heart of the community.
”The pub is a gift to so many people. We have visitors from all over the world who revisit each year and want to stay connected to the pub. It’s more than just pulling a pint, you become a significant part of people’s lives.”
Ali Ross, General Manager at The Coach and Horses
Ali has worked for some of Fuller’s biggest and busiest London pubs, including The Hydrant, The Vintry and The Merchant, taking them from strength to strength. Last July, she took on The Coach and Horses in Soho as it transitioned from a tenanted to a managed pub.
Ali leads by example and isn’t afraid to stick up for herself or her team. Alongside her all-female workforce, she continues to build the pub’s reputation as one of the top drinking spots in London, while holding onto the old-school atmosphere.
“I think my style and personality wasn’t what was expected from a manager. At first, I felt like I had to look and dress and certain way, which was confusing because I wanted to fit in but still be myself. No one would say anything like that to me, but I can imagine it still happens all the time to young women, so I make sure my team feels comfortable being themselves.”
Handerline Morency-Nalus, Chef de Partie Apprentice at The Dove
Handerline is an 18-year-old Apprentice Chef de Partie at The Dove in Hammersmith. Her passion for cooking was sparked by her involvement in her Dad’s catering business while growing up in Brixton. The opportunity came along to peruse a career as a chef at Fuller’s when she was at school, and she’s now almost three years into her training.
”I love creating something from nothing, I’m training in pastry at the moment and you can make the most beautiful dish out of simple ingredients and put your own twist on it. We can all make the same thing, but it can look and taste so different.”
Handerline said working in a male-dominated kitchen made it challenging to be heard at first, but she soon took charge and earned the respect she deserved.
”We can do everything that the men can, I’m in the hot section most of the time and I love it.”
Natalia Tatar, Group Sales and Events Manager at Fuller’s
Natalia began her journey with Fuller’s over two years ago as Group Sales and Events Manager, heading the sales and events departments both centrally and in venues. She said her passion for the job, the company and the people she works with makes it a great environment to work in.
“Working in hospitality is so dynamic, it’s very versatile. You can learn a lot and make it a real career.”
Natalia expects a lot from her team, but said she also gives them the freedom to do their job their own way. She ensures everyone is supported with ongoing training and development to help them exceed targets. Her experience at Fuller’s is an example of the industry moving in the right direction with women being given the same opportunities as men.
”At Fuller’s, the female talent is very prominent and well balanced. Although there are more male chefs and general managers, the female presence is fantastic. Being a female in the industry doesn’t mean things are going to be harder for you. As long as you have a sense of achievement and the right drive, you can do anything.”
Fuller's Receptionists Dot Hulatt, Annette Duff and Charlotte Donohoe
Dot, Annette and Charlotte have a combined service of almost 50 years. Alongside Kirsty, they manage the busy reception desks at Fuller's.
Dot said: “I think what has kept me here so long is feeling genuinely part of the Fuller’s family”.
Annette added: “I love working with my team and with all the friendly people across the business.”
Charlotte agreed: “These ladies are right! Working here for twenty years you build up amazing friendships with people and the local community. Plus, you get to meet different types of people – no day’s the same.”
Thank you to all the women of Fuller’s
Dawn Browne, Fuller’s People and Talent Director, said: “I am so proud of our female talent in all areas and at all levels in our business – from the boardroom to the bar, we are lucky enough to have brilliant women.”
Thank you to all the wonderful women of Fuller's, and Happy International Women's Day!