In the lead-up to International Womens Day (IWD) on 8 March, Australian Hotelier is showcasing some of the outstanding women in the pub industry, who are reflecting on their experiences within the sector.

This series kicks off with Lucinda Dowling-Black, owner and director of the award-winning Full Moon Hotel in Sandgate, Queensland. Dowling-Black is a seasoned fourth-generation publican, regarded for her strategic direction and visionary leadership which has fostered the growth and high performance of a remarkable team of 120 employees at the Full Moon Hotel. 

Dowling-Black is a director of the family company, continuing an 80-year legacy in the hospitality industry, with their hotel operations spanning from the Northern Territory to WA, NSW and QLD, along with an e-commerce business, Champagne Gallery. 

While she hasn’t personally felt any impediments in her career due to her gender, she’s well aware that there are some for many women in the industry.

“I don’t believe I have experienced barriers in my career due to my gender, yet I share in the indignation alongside my friends and colleagues that are continuing to be challenged by lack of inclusion such as gender, having children or age,” states Dowling-Black.

“I do know what it feels like as the only female to walk into a room or take a seat at the table, yet this has never held me back as I have chosen to align with progressive organisations and environments that invest in talent, irrespective of gender.”

Dowling-Black looks to her own family history for examples of trail-blazing women within the industry.

“As a fourth-generation publican, there is a strong history of female publicans in our family, as can be seen historically across many family-owned pubs in our industry, particularly during the war when women stepped up to do “men’s work” to keep the wheels turning.

“My great-aunt Mayse Young, an outback publican in the Northern Territory through the 30s and 40s shares her stories of running ‘the best drinking hole on the track’ in her book No Place for a Woman, and it is one example of how generations of brave, resilient and smart women before us have cleared the path that we now walk. What a privilege that we now shine the light and lead the way for our daughters and other females to feel valued, relevant and empowered to become future leaders of tomorrow.”

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is Inspire Inclusion, and its something that Dowling-Black and her team put into action every day at Full Moon Hotel.

“At the Full Moon Hotel we pride ourselves on creating a culture that promotes inclusive, gender-balanced teams, and enabling the participation of women in leadership and decision-making roles of the business. 

“Women remain undeniably underrepresented in key decision-making roles across Australia and in my position as an employer, a mother, and a member of Boards, I hope to play a small but mighty role in helping other females understand their full potential, supporting their growth, and show them that they don’t need to choose between ‘working’ or ‘being at home.’”

More perspectives and experiences from women in the industry will be published in the coming weeks.

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