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International Women's Day

Posting date: 07/03/2023
In the week of International Women's Day, we are upholding, celebrating and sharing the wonderful stories of some of our inspiring colleagues here at Parkdean Resorts. We have some fantastic leading ladies who are proud of the space they occupy, and who are equally as passionate about creating opportunities in the workplace for the women who come next. Let's hear what they have to say this International Women's Day and why they #EmbraceEquity.


Helen Stuttard, Head of Talent Acquisition

Photo of Helen Stuttard

"I am extremely proud of myself for how my career has progressed.  I started work at 14 years old on a market stall and then went on to work as a waitress in a pub restaurant. I progressed my career in training within hospitality and then moved into recruitment 22 years ago (I know I don’t look that old).  When I reflect back on what got me to where I am today it’s been through drive, passion, surrounding myself with talented individuals, being resilient and networking. I’ve had a number of challenges throughout my career such as Imposter Syndrome (I now know that comes when I am outside my comfort zone but also realise that growth comes from being outside my comfort zone), and working in environments where there’s been male dominance in senior roles in the sectors I have worked in."  

                                               Claire Byles, General Manager at Kessingland Beach

                

Image of Claire Byles

"My professional background was from outside of the Holiday Park industry, but I have loved every minute of my career and most recent role as General Manager of Kessingland Beach Holiday Park. This role has allowed me autonomy to grow my Holiday Park and most importantly, to me, be a leader to my team. I am very proud of my team at Kessingland Beach. We are one team that has service standards at the heart of our being, and this is evident in the improvement of guest and owner satisfaction scores and our general feedback. I am always looking to improve my learning and ability and want my team to be better than me. Their performances are a total reflection of my leadership ability and style. I am proud to stand tall and say I have great communication and leadership skills that can bring the best out of my team. I am also impressed and pleased that I presented a session in front of my 650 peers at the Parkdean Resorts annual conference.  I thought I rocked the Purple Story Hoodie!"

Tilly Davies, General Manager at Withernsea Sands

Image of Tilly Davies


"I am audacious, I am brave, I am a risk-taker and I look for new opportunities.  I came to the UK in 2016 with no idea how to drive on the left-hand side of the road, how to spell colour (color) correctly or input tax returns in the correct date format (dd/mm/yyyy not mm/dd/yyyy… this can cause a whole world of confusion)!  But being proud of who I am, selling my strengths and finding ways to learn and educate myself on my weaknesses has moved me forward within both my career and my own daily life.  I love to network with those that are better than me, celebrate them and gain from them."

Jody Boxall, General Manager at St Margaret's Bay


"Well in the spirit of International Women’s day, here’s my story… 

21 years ago in 2002 with a 1 and a 3 year old in tow, I applied for a position at St Margaret’s Bay holiday park and got the job! Being a mum of little ones at the time I knew there would be some challenges! And there was ..In 2005, I was promoted to Holiday Sales Manager, a great progression step where the team were mostly female. In 2016, I became General Manager and stepped into a largely male dominated area of the business - that became quite clear at conferences when us ladies were sparse! Being in a region of 10 parks and being the only female GM however, was  fun - the band of brothers broken up by a sister! 

To be honest they opened doors for me and pulled my chair out to sit down. 7 years on and I’m still here leading St Margaret’s Bay team where we have well over 200 years of service between us! People ask me all the time “you’ve only ever been at St Margaret’s” and I answer YES because I love it. It’s our park, a family run holiday park operating under a great company umbrella that is Parkdean Resorts… I say family run not only because my now 3 adult children all work here but because the team is a family and I’m proud to have led and supported them with confidence!" 

The Leading Ladies Programme 

The 'Leading Ladies' programme at Parkdean Resorts brings together over 50 women in leadership positions to enable our current and aspiring female leaders to overcome gender barriers and reach their full potential as female professionals.  

Every month the group meet to discuss and share advice on how to overcome the barriers that women are often met with in the workplace, such as effective networking, imposter syndrome,  meeting participation and resilience. They are introduced to and speak with a number of motivational and inspiring guest speakers who help to not only teach on a number of important topics and inspire confidence, but to also provide great opportunities to network which is really important given the number of remote, field based and park based attendees. 

On International Women's Day the group members will be focusing on championing each other and their teams by highlighting the accomplishments of women in their teams, and championing, encouraging and celebrating each other. 

Jodie Smith our consultant managing the role
Posted by Jodie Smith
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