Celebrating Women: Meet Some of Our Female Managers

This week we're celebrating International Women's Day, and to mark the occasion we approached some of our managers across all Fazenda restaurants and our head office with one key question. This is what they shared with us, Fazendeiros...

Lemlem - Reception Manager at Fazenda Birmingham

Who are the women that inspire you most in your personal or professional life, and why?

Thinking about this fills my heart with a rush of admiration!

My forever personal role model is my mother, her most admirable quality being her unwavering strength. Despite losing my dad at a younger age, my mum raised us with grace and remained composed in difficult situations. This taught me the value of perseverance and maintaining a positive attitude when facing hardship. Observing my mother's resilience, paired with her innate capacity for problem-solving, has inspired me to adopt a proactive mindset. Her empathetic nature has encouraged me to listen to others actively and understand different perspectives. This skill has not only improved my relationships but also enhanced my ability to collaborate and work effectively with diverse groups of people. Through her determination, guidance, and unwavering commitment, my mum has instilled in me a deep sense of purpose in treating others with kindness and empathy.

My professional role model is Maya Angelou. She is known for publishing her autobiographies that reflect her childhood and life experiences. Maya is now one of the most influential memoirists, poet (amongst many other things), and has won three Grammy Awards. She used poetry for self-expression and to defy societal norms and expectations. Maya encourages women to become their best selves, and what better way to express this than through her famous poems:

"I'm a woman, phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that's me."

Nina - Head of People

How do you maintain a work-life balance and best take care of your own wellbeing, while leading a successful Team?

The key for me is to manage my time well, be organised and plan. Having the flexibility to manage my own diary and work from home a few days a week makes creating a routine far easier, which in turn allows me to create healthy habits.

During the working week I tend to focus on eating healthy and ensuring I visit the gym 2-3 times. When it comes to the weekend, I always plan fun activities. Whether that is spending time with my family, getting out in the fresh air or going out for a meal and a cocktail (or two). Weekends and holidays allow me the time to let my hair down and decompress so that I can recharge and be ready to throw myself back into work the following week.

I try to role model healthy habits, and I do this by championing flexibility and open communication. I don’t subscribe to a rigid way of working, after all, what works for one may not necessarily work for another. I believe getting to know my team on a personal level allows me to foster open and trusting relationships with them which means we can set boundaries, delegate tasks and achieve out goals in a way that works best for us.

Katie - General Manager at Fazenda Liverpool

What are your top 3 tips for exemplifying strong leadership in the workplace?

Leading with authenticity is my number one top tip. I am unapologetically myself, wearing my heart on my sleeve. I believe it is important to incorporate your values into your leadership style. For me, that means making time for open and sometimes uncomfortable conversations. Provide space to genuinely hear someone else’s thoughts and feelings as well as showing your own vulnerability in the conversation. This style of communication creates a culture of mutual empathy and trust.

My next tip would be to project confidence. Leadership roles involve day-to-day decision-making which can impact both your Team and guests alike. I am a firm believer of analysing data and seeking input from my Team wherever possible. Having confidence in decision-making and being able to make tough calls without hesitation, is key.

My last suggestion is to lead by example. This feels like a real cliché but the action behind it is so powerful. I think it is important to only ask your Team to do things that you are willing to do yourself. As a leader, it isn't essential for you to know how to do everything but being inquisitive and asking your team how to do certain aspects of their roles, gives them a stronger sense of purpose.

Andrea - Deputy General Manager at Fazenda Bishopsgate

What's the best career or life advice you've ever received? How has it helped shape your path?

The best advice I've received is: "Stay open to new learning and show up with your genuine self. Trust your instincts, respect yourself and others around you."

This simple yet powerful guidance from my parents has been instrumental in helping me navigate my personal and professional journey. From an early age, my parents have instilled in me the importance of hard work and respect for others. However, they also taught me that failure is not something to be feared, as long as I gave my best effort and was willing to learn from those experiences.

The first part of the advice – 'stay open to new learning '– has encouraged me to embrace a growth mindset and remain curious about the world. Rather than becoming complacent, I have actively sought out situations that push me out of my comfort zone, forcing me to adapt and expand my knowledge. This openness to learn has allowed me to acquire new skills, understand different perspectives, and embrace change when necessary in my career.

The second component – 'show up with your genuine self' – has helped me build authentic connections, partnerships and friendships. By being true to my values, I've been able to establish trust and credibility. This authenticity has also empowered me to confidently share my ideas and insights without apology.

The final part - 'trust your instincts, respect yourself and others around you' - has shown me that my intuition can lead me to recognize other's true potential, often resulting in significant contributions to our team’s success. Ultimately, trusting my instincts has not only helped me navigate through challenges but has also enabled me to foster growth, both for myself and for those around me.

In both my personal and professional lives, this powerful advice has kept me grounded while still striving for learning. It has given me the confidence to forge my own path while treating others with compassion.
Embracing lifelong learning, authenticity, and respect for oneself and others has allowed me to transform challenges into opportunities.

Birmingham's Reception Manager Lemlem and Liverpool's General Manager Katie
Our Head of People Nina and Fazenda Bishopsgate's Deputy General Manager Andrea

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