Working As A Woman In The Hospitality Industry
4 months ago

Hey, I’m Alessi Bottomley and I’m an ambassador for Not Going To Uni. I’m currently on a level 6 chartered managers degree apprenticeship with BaxterStorey working within the hospitality industry. Predominantly back of house.

This can be challenging as it’s a very male dominated field, however, I have worked with lots of different people in kitchens, 95 per cent of them being men, and I have never felt out of place or uncomfortable.

I have got to meet so many amazing people whilst doing my course and I have found a career I am passionate about. Personally, I haven’t found being a woman in my field too difficult.

I do struggle with an autoimmune condition and I also struggle with seizures. I have struggled with this before I started my job and I have had many flare ups since. Working in hospitality is an exhausting but rewarding field. It’s even harder when you struggle with so many issues. This has impacted my ability to work quite heavily.

However, my go to support is my head chef, who is male. I understand that to a lot of women it can feel daunting going into 

careers that are male dominated, however, if you keep an open mind and engage with your co-workers, then most of the time they will happily engage back with you.

As long as you are able to learn how to engage with different people, you will be okay. There’s a lot of support in my company for women.

Last year we celebrated international women’s day and had an event where it was solely women only. We got to learn about the new support systems available to us and we got to talk to women of all ages throughout the business. As a young woman, when you are still growing and changing, it can be hard to socialise with people. I get that. When I first started my job I was quite shy and reserved.

But the more exposure I got to new people the more it became apparent to me that I can do exactly what a man can do, and I shouldn’t feel anxious to express my ideas or try something new simply because it’s male dominated. I also did an event all the way in Durham at Durham cathedral. It was a 2 day trip. It was at the beginning of my journey as a chef in the kitchen, and it was daunting as I didn’t know anybody. I was also 18 at the time in a place I’d never been, around people I'd never worked with.

However, everyone was so welcoming and they looked after me. I ended up having a tiring but really enjoyable time. This was something I nearly turned down due to feeling anxious about it. But, I will always appreciate the experience I had as it taught me so much.

So, if you have a passion for something, pursue it. You never know who you’ll meet or the opportunities you’ll miss out on if you are always afraid to do something. Women are powerful!

You can connect with Alessi Bottomley on LinkedIn to keep up to date with her apprentice journey!

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