Tracey is our Venue Sales Manager and is approaching her 20 year anniversary at Ashorne Hill. On International Women’s Day, we want to celebrate Tracey’s achievements.
Your name: Tracey Ashfield
Your job title: Venue Sales Manager
Wow, 20 years at Ashorne Hill, that is some milestone. Tell us about your career path at Ashorne Hill and your journey to Venue Sales Manager.
I came to Ashorne Hill after travelling for a year. I had previously worked in hospitality and knew I wanted to return to it. I started as Deputy Conference Manager with just myself and Renata (now the GM). We looked after a few venue clients. Our clients grew along with the team and in 2005 I was promoted to Conference Sales Manager overseeing two Conference Coordinators. Since then, my role and team have both expanded. Now I manage and develop the Venue Sales Executives, but I am also involved in various other projects within Ashorne Hill and work closely with the National Sales and Marketing Manager, our key clients and agencies. I love the variety my role brings.
Tell us about some of the other women in your career that have inspired or mentored you and what their support has meant to you.
My first proper hospitality role started back in 1996. I was young, shy and inexperienced. I worked in both reception and the conference team and was taken under the wing of the BDM. She brought me out of my shell, pushed me out of my comfort zone, coached me to get the highest scores in mystery test calls. She not only became a friend but the Godmother to my eldest child. Since being at Ashorne Hill both Renata Homer and Sarah Ellis have supported and inspired me in some way or another. Renata and I have worked together for almost 20 years and she has been my fountain of knowledge teaching me the tricks of the trade, mentoring me be to more self-assured, confident and business focussed. Since Sarah started five years ago well, we are like two peas in a pod, constantly bouncing off each other with ideas and new challenges of how to ensure we have the best team around us. We keep each other motivated and she is always there to put a smile on my face!
As a manager, what tips do you have for other female managers to support your team and their mental health and wellbeing?
I like to think I am a leader more than a manager and offer support and guidance through 1-1 meetings, walk and talks and I am just about to embark on a mental health champion training session so will be able to help spot the signs of those that may be struggling.
Outside pressures, emotions and hormones can sometime bubble over into the work environment and it is important to acknowledge these and for the team to know I am there to listen to them. They need to feel comfortable to raise issues with me and make use of our wellness room to take time out for themselves.
It’s been widely reported that recruitment is a challenge across many industries but probably more so across the hospitality sector. To other women, why would you recommend they consider starting their hospitality career at Ashorne Hill?
I am a mum to two boys. The flexibility Ashorne Hill has given me over the years for the work life balance of having a career and still being a working mum has been second to none. It means I can still progress my career path but with the confidence of knowing that I can still attend that special assembly or sports day. Personal development is also encouraged here at Ashorne Hill with plenty of courses and training available to us to learn new skills.
Ashorne Hill’s mission statement is to “create growth through people”. For young female graduates or those just about to embark on their exams, what can Ashorne Hill offer them to help them on their first step of the career ladder?
Ashorne Hill is a unique business in being able to offer the space for people to learn, the programmes from which they can learn and the expert trainers to deliver that training. Our training modules specialise on young, new graduate managers right up to senior leaders, giving them the tools to become a great leader – we like to refer to it as lifelong learning from Ashorne Hill. This way of thinking and creating growth runs through every team member at Ashorne Hill and gives us easy access to programmes to employ young, aspiring graduates and give them the right tools and skills to quickly become the best manager they can be.
And finally, what does the next 20 years have in store for Tracey Ashfield?
At work I love to be involved in new projects and learn new things. I want to grow the team even further, stretch the boundaries and be the mentor that develops my team to new opportunities hopefully at Ashorne Hill. Out of work I would love to travel more and there are still so many places still to visit.