Acorns 2020: Jessica Burrow, 27
Conference and events sales manager, the Montague on the Gardens hotel, London (Red Carnation Hotels)
Nominator Liz McGivern
Jessica Burrow has achieved record-breaking financial figures for the events department at the Montague on the Gardens and has led internal and external projects for Red Carnation Hotels. She has demonstrated strong leadership in staff management, motivating and inspiring the team to optimise their talents and reach their professional and personal goals. She is an extremely creative individual and acts as a strong advocate for corporate social responsibility and environmental matters.
She also organised the first ever student-led Big Hospitality Conversation. The event was given an average four out of five rating by its 230 attendees, and it secured 476 job pledges from participating businesses in the sector.
In view of the recent time spent locked out of hospitality, what did you miss the most?
The main reason why I chose to pursue a career in hospitality was because of the personalised, constant human interaction. I love the fact that no two days are the same and every day is a new experience. Constantly being around skilled and talented colleagues, connecting with incredible new and regular guests, and the general buzz of such a vibrant environment are what I missed the most during lockdown.
Do you think the hospitality industry could be more sustainable? Not just in terms of plastics and waste but in terms of careers and diversity, training and growth?
I believe that hospitality is one of the most sustainable industries around in terms of the extensive career opportunities available, the multicultural diversity of the employees, impressive range of internal and external industry training courses and rapid job growth.
On reflection, an area we could improve on would be securing more women in high-level positions such as general managers, managing directors and chief executives, as these are predominantly still male-dominated roles.