Celebrating our female colleagues
The annual event, International Women’s Day, celebrates women's social, economic, cultural, and political achievements. We are pleased to say that we have a predominantly female workforce and are proud of the women that make up the large proportion of our Center Parcs family. Many of these female colleagues have been with us for a number of years and have been very successful in climbing their career ladder, progressing into senior roles.
As part of our commitment to understand and address the barriers to women’s development in the workplace, we have been running a Women’s Development Programme. The programme equips women in management and non-management roles, with the tools to progress their careers and increase their confidence.
We caught up with Emma Healy, HR Manager at Elveden Forest, to discuss how her career has developed whilst working at Center Parcs. Emma also took part in the Women’s Development Programme and told us about the impact it had on her career.
"The Women’s Development Programme has had a massive impact on my career. Since completing the programme I have been promoted three times! To Senior HR Advisor, Deputy HR Manager, and my current role as HR Manager. The skills and techniques that Kim (programme leader) installed in us have given me the belief and confidence to move forward with my career.
When I was invited to attend the programme, I was initially filled with dread. How could I travel to another village and speak to people from other villages and actively participate in activities? Within my role at the time as HR Advisor, I was confident in myself with what I knew but taking me out of my comfort zone was not something I felt I could do. After conversations with my Manager, I finally agreed to attend. Looking back now, I am so thankful I did."
As part of this, we are also working to acknowledge challenges faced by women. We recently ran a Managing Menopause module for our colleagues, which explored what menopause is, common symptoms, how it can impact mental health and importantly how we can support colleagues and help women manage menopause at work.
Within our predominantly female workforce, we have women in various different roles including Chefs, Outdoor Activity Instructors, Ground Operatives, Technicians, Lifeguards, Security Officers, Restaurant Managers, Project Leaders and Village Directors. A few of them share their experience and are proud to say what they do:
“Working as a female in a predominantly male role at Center Parcs is like working any other role. As a company and as an employee it's always guaranteed that I am involved in as much the same work and responsibilities that any male is expected to do. Whether it be the rare case on any incidents that need dealing with, Center Parcs allows and supports me to fulfil my job role specifications as per any other member is security; including me on all the same courses so that I have the same knowledge as my male peers, recognising me where recognition is due and encourages me to push myself further and further into the role. This just helps to make it a very comfortable role to be a part of.” – Siobhan McGeoch, Security Officer
"I am really proud to be the only female Accommodation Project Manager at Center Parcs, having moved into the role almost 3 years ago after a long career in housekeeping. I love the diversity of my role, one day I may be spending thousands of pounds on new inventory or bedding for our lodge, the next I am out in hard hat, boots and high-vis managing contractors carrying out repairs, enhancements and build works. It can be challenging with time scales and budgets, but I tend to thrive under pressure! I love that Center Parcs has a great ethos in diversity and equality, and it's great to see so many strong women across the villages in key roles, often growing within the company." - Sarah Vine, Accommodation Project Manager
"I am lucky enough to manage a team where almost half of our instructors are active, amazing, strong females! I myself started as an instructor and have worked my way up to Team Leader and keep looking up; following the famous quote 'There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish, which are wise words to live by when trying to progress in such a male-dominated Leisure industry, especially as you move up the ranks." - Amy Harrison, Outdoor Activity Centre Team Leader
Have you met one of our female colleagues whilst on your break, who left a smile on your face or made your day? Get in touch to share your story.
Contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.