Women in Spirits | Kate Rowlands
Anyone who has spent anytime in the Adelaide hospo scene has inevitably run into Kate. After returning from working overseas, she spent three years at Electra House Hotel as their training & development and restaurant manager, winning multiple awards for both the restaurant and their in-house sustainability program. She was most recently at ORSO as their business development manager.
Her passions are helping and watching people grow in their roles, supporting local producers and is currently obsessed with trying to figure out how we can make hospitality a more sustainable industry. She loves a martini, can’t stand a Negroni and is a mad keen All Blacks fan, which is clearly where she gets her talents for illegal armbars and ill-disciplined scrummaging (just make sure she never has to kick you out of the venue).⠀
What brought you into the industry and kicked off your passion for hospitality?
I’m the epitome of the age-old cliché of getting a part time hospitality job when I was at university studying something completely unrelated. After I graduated I left New Zealand with a one-way ticket and an intention to work in Canada for a year. I ended up never going to Canada but instead working in the UK for more than a decade. Along the way I realised that hospitality could be a fulfilling, rewarding and respected career and I was hooked.
Who are some of the female industry icons that have inspired you along your journey?
Hannah Davies and Louise Neilson – both absolute icons of the hospitality industry in London and two of the most incredible women I’ve ever worked with. They both taught me to believe in my own potential, to never compromise my standards and that my voice was just as valid as any male voice in the room.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge you have overcome, as a female, to get to where you are now?
Realising that I don’t need to work more hours, take on bigger workloads or be more ruthless than the men (or other women!) in the room to prove that I’m great at my job.
How can hospitality venues empower women in 2021?
Shine a light on their achievements and celebrate their successes. So many females that I know, particularly those that are new to management, are afraid to shout out about the incredible things that they are doing for fear of sounding arrogant. Push them to the front and give them the confidence to then keep going on their own.
What advice would you give to young women either already working in the industry, or hoping to in the future?
Work out what your values are and never lose sight of them. There will be times when your values will be challenged in your workplace by situations that you find yourself in or people that you work with. Have the conviction to stick to those values. It’ll be worth it in the long run.
What do you love most about your job now?
I’m so lucky to be working with an incredible team of people who never sit still! The pace that we are moving at right now at Never Never is unbelievable and I gain so much inspiration every day from those around me, in every part of our business.
Why is Never Never the ultimate place for a fierce woman?
I’m encouraged every day to be bold, to be fearless and to take risks - it’s the ultimate place for me to figure out truly just how fierce I can be