Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Introducing Our Female Trailblazers

Author: Joanna Flood
Date: March 7, 2024
Category: News

Female exec team

We’re super excited to share we’ve bolstered up our exec squad with not one, but two awesome internal promotions. Louise Denton and Eimear Hargaden have taken the reins as regional managing directors for the South West and South East respectively.

We caught up with them to chat about how they will be fuelling individuality across their regions, how they hope their own career journeys can inspire future leaders, and the importance of leaving the ‘ladder’ there for others to climb.

Tell us about your new role.

Louise: “This is a real pinch me moment, and I’m excited for the opportunities ahead. My region covers around 60 contracts and a team of 850, and I’m keen to explore where I can add value. Reflecting on my own career journey of 13 years with WSH, I want to create a strong talent pipeline which really invests in people development. It’s important we fuel a culture where we leave the ‘ladder’ for others to climb.

Eimear: “I’m really looking forward to managing a fantastic team across a diverse range of locations, the southeast spans a substantial area from Bournemouth to Kent!  We’ve made big strides in the past 18 months in terms of reinventing ourselves and what we stand for, and you can feel the energy and creativity every time you step into a location. It’s my job to support in harnessing this innovation and really driving that memorable hospitality experience for our customers and clients”.


How important is it to have more female representation on the Board?

Eimear: “Increased female representation at leadership level sends a powerful message, especially now we have four female Board members. It’s about ensuring equal opportunities, promoting a workplace where everyone, regardless of gender, can thrive and contribute to the success of BaxterStorey”.

Louise: “I grew up with a very strong mum who worked in hospitality, and went back to work within six months of having my brother and I. Back in the 80s that was still rare, and she had no access to any of the kinds of benefits we have now. To be able to remove those barriers for our teams and support their development in tandem with family and personal commitments feels very progressive and makes anything possible”.


You have been recruited from within. What does this mean in terms of inspiring future leaders?

Louise: “Hospitality offers no end of exciting opportunities and experience. The business has made huge strides in creating a more inclusive workplace with game-changing benefits and investing in learning and development platforms. We’ve built a culture where people can develop in their own direction, at their own pace and I’m sure we’re going to see some rising stars emerging in the next few years!”

Eimear: “It’s important we amplify our values as a business that rewards and motivates its team members. Events like the People Awards are a big moment in the year to celebrate the talent positively disrupting our industry and sends a big message that we know the success of BaxterStorey starts with them”.


What are your plans to help BaxterStorey grow and thrive?

Eimear: “For me it’s all about market insight, collaborative leadership and leading a high-performing team. Our role is about promoting our values and making sure they are visible to everyone. We are a ‘fuel your individuality’ business and it’s important as leaders we give people the opportunity to do this”.

Louise: “It’s still early days in this role; I know I have a lot to give but equally a lot to learn. My key experience and skills are in working in tandem with our other WSH businesses, I hope in time, I can help to grow that further, understanding where we can learn best practise from one another and share successes, it’s a cliché but together we’re stronger!”


Louise and Eimear join Natalie Mainwaring, Brand Experience Director, and Nicola Pearce, Head of Food, Health & Safety on the board, taking the C Suite female ratio to 36%.