As part of International Women's Day and to kick start our Basing Folk campaign, we spoke to influential women from around Basingstoke Town Centre. One of these was Michelle, Deputy Housekeeping Manager for Festival Place.
What is your current role?
Deputy Housekeeping Manager at Festival Place.
What is the most interesting part of your role?
No two days are the same; you don’t know what situation you’re going to be tasked with next.
What is your most positive memory of working in Basingstoke?
I work with a great team of people. I started 16 years ago, and a group of us had a vision for the shopping centre, to change the perception of Basingstoke. Seeing that develop, and being a part of it, has been a highlight for me. I have also seen the team around me progress. Elena, for example, started within the Housekeeping team, but she had a desire to become part of the security team, so we were able to support her ambition and push her to apply for the new role.
What are the challenges for a woman in your role?
Shopping centre management is quite a male-dominated industry, but we are seeing more women start to join the team. I was the first woman on the team when I first started, so I had to be strong and hold my own within the team.
What advice would you give to young women starting their career?
Be open-minded. There is no role a woman can’t do, so if you want to do something, go for it. It’s important to encourage yourself, and the others around you, to take opportunities and support one another as you progress through your careers.
Read more of the interviews from influential women from Basingstoke Town Centre here.
This series is the start of a wider new promotion for 2019 called “Basing Folk”. This will showcase people from across the town centre that help make Basingstoke a great place to work, visit, shop and be a part of. Future features will include members of the community, young people in Basingstoke, long-standing residents, workers and business owners along with various other topics.