Janet Broomfield on Leadership in Travel

Named as a Woman to Watch & Advocate for Change in the Hospitality, Travel & Leisure Index 2020, Janet Broomfield is our Director of Global Sales UK & Ireland – Meetings & Incentives. The index celebrates  leaders in the industry who are driving diversity forward in their workplaces, and we are delighted to celebrate Janet’s achievement and the work of The MBS Group and WiHTL, who organise the index. Read on for more about Janet’s career so far…

“I moved to the UK from Ireland to study hospitality at university, which led to a management traineeship at Forte hotels where I rotated through every department. I absolutely loved the people-facing aspect of customer service, so it was in sales that I set my sights for progression. I moved from Leeds to London with Jumeirah Hotels in my first global sales position, then spent five years at Marriott as an account director. My next role in the industry was at Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, again in a global sales capacity, before my journey came full circle and I returned to Rocco Forte. This time, I progressed to Director of Global Sales, Conference and Incentive, leaving for Corinthia in 2015. I’ve been the Director of Global sales here for the last five years and have loved every minute – every hotel is different, and building relationships with clients is so fulfilling. Every day is a different challenge, and over time I’ve learnt that diplomacy is key – I work on behalf of both the client and the hotel so it’s my job to achieve a win-win outcome for both sides. I feel so lucky to say that I adore every aspect!”

What book has influenced you the most?
Unbroken, a World War Two story about survival, resilience, and redemption. A true story, Louie Zamperini survives a plane crash in the pacific and spends 47 days on a raft and then survives 2.5 years as a prisoner of war in three brutal Japanese camps. He experienced brutal treatment and after many years living with the nightmare he went back to Japan to forgive all who wronged him and make peace with many of his former tormentors. This book teaches forgiveness brings more peace then revenge. Forgiveness is the greatest of mental strengths and the strength of the human race.

What qualities are the most valuable in a leader?
In my career I have been very lucky and had some excellent mentors. Honesty, a clear vision, integrity, communication & empathy are key qualities of a leader. Leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could.

What advice would you give the next generation of women entering your sector?
Don’t be afraid to feel uncomfortable, and don’t doubt your abilities. No one can be great at everything, but set goals based on your own unique strengths. If you’re emotionally intelligent, you’ll have ample opportunity to grow in this fantastic, friendly industry! How are you encouraging more women into the sector? There’s no way around the fact that, as it stands, 75% of the industry is female but only 20% take up senior positions. I try to advocate for the industry to young women, reassuring them that if they have the confidence, they can overcome the current challenges and have a fantastic career progression.

How have you seen the industry change on D&I in your time in HTL?
It’s taken huge strides forwards. Every company now knows they need to become more diverse, and especially in the global world of hotels, diversity should be the norm. Now, at Corinthia, we celebrate different holidays and events so that every person feels recognised.

How do you deal with challenges in your job?
It’s important to always look on the bright side! Positivity increases our ability to think creatively, so we need to take stock of our successes in this ever-changing industry to stay at the top of our game.