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 continues with Joanna Chronis, chief operating officer of Duxton Hospitality Services, leading the operations of 25 venues across South Australia. Chronis is also the CEO of Little Bang Brewing, and independent brewery and taproom. She is also a non-executive director of Duxton Vineyards, and has previously been a financial director for the likes of Accolade Wines, Bevchain and Grant Burge Wines.

Chronis has accomplished a lot in her career across various industries, and said she consciously chose to not allow her gender to have a bearing on how her career played out.

“I made a decision early on in my career that I would not allow gender to impact my progression or lack thereof.  On reflection this personal decision was instrumental in how my career developed over time and as a result I feel that I have been treated fairly and equally, completely independent of my gender.”

With experience in the travel, FMCG and supply chain management  industries, Chronis says hospitality is an excellent industry for women, and hopes to see more women leading in the sector.

“I love hospitality for women! It is unfortunately a sector which is under-indexed by women in general, particularly in leadership positions.

“Hospitality to this extent is a place where flexibility works! Hospitality affords working hours that are not just 9-5. For both men and women the hospitality sector affords flexibility that enables other pursuits that ultimately enrich our community,” explained Chronis.

The COO says that diversity is a big focus at Duxton Hospitality Services, not only because it is a good thing to do, but because it better reflects the markets and communities the group operates in.

“Across our leadership team at Duxton Hospitality Services we have 35 per cent female staff and in venue we have a plethora of managers, chefs, bar staff, retail staff who are from a diverse backgrounds, education, race, religion and sexual orientation.  We pride ourselves on our diversity.

“In general, I see the same in other operators. Hospitality provides experiences and it’s the diverse experiences that make this industry unique, exciting and ever-evolving. Having a diverse community helps us deliver those unique experiences. It is one thing I particularly love about the sector.”

Reflecting on the IWD 2024 theme of #InspireInclusion, Chronis says Duxton Hospitality has been putting it into action.

“In terms of inspiring inclusion, we have some real action! Last year we kicked off with a Ukrainian refugee program. We are soon to also launch an Indigenous program. As our footprint is strong in regional areas, this makes good sense to us.

“However we are just scratching the surface. Watch this space as we will be diving deeper to bring inclusion to the fore and weave it into our DNA.”

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

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