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International Women’s Day: top tips from our inspirational leaders
In honour of International Women’s Day, we’re shining a spotlight on three inspirational women who have worked their way up at Aqua Sana and helped to make it the successful, award-winning spa that it is today.
Kay Pennington, Kadey English and Laura Freeman told us about their career journeys - and we asked them a few questions about what they’ve learned along the way!
Kay Pennington is our Aqua Sana Group Manager. She has over 20 years’ experience in the spa and beauty industry, named World Spa and Wellness Leader and has been involved in the redesign of three Aqua Sana spas and the launch of the first Aqua Sana in Ireland. In 2020, she was named Spa Leader of the Year at the Professional Beauty Awards.
What are your top tips for success?
“There’s three great pieces of advice I’ve received - keep it real and be yourself, always think positive, and don’t give up at the first hurdle. Always trust your intuition, embrace change and be prepared for a rollercoaster experience! Discover and experience as much as you possibly can. Never stop learning new skills and practicing new trends.”
Kadey English is our Aqua Sana Manager at Longleat Forest. She started her career in a small local beauty salon, before joining Aqua Sana as a Beauty Therapist in 2010 and working her way up, progressing from Senior Therapist to Assistant Manager, then to Deputy Aqua Sana Manager and finally to Aqua Sana Manager.
How did you develop your confidence?
“When I was seconded to Aqua Sana Manager it was a huge step for me and it took me a while to find my feet. I took part in Center Parcs’ Women’s Development Programme at the same time, which gave me a new-found confidence. The programme had various tasks and tools, which helped me to believe in myself. It taught me to recognise that I wasn’t in this role because of luck – I had earned it through hard work and determination. I now often use the tasks when mentoring my team.”
Laura Freeman is our Aqua Sana Manager at Woburn Forest. She started working in the beauty industry when she was 17 years old, then worked her way up to Spa Manager at a national brand before joining Aqua Sana in 2014.
Why is it important to have positive role models?
“It’s great for younger employees to see supervisors and managers who have worked their way up in the company and can really relate. A lot of us were in their shoes a few years ago, so it really emphasises that with hard work and dedication, you can progress as well. The spa and beauty industry has seen so much progression in the last few years it is important for all staff to have strong and positive female and male role models to enable us as an industry to grow and move forward.”
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Kay, Kadey and Laura for their dedication and hard work at Aqua Sana – you’ve helped us get to where we are today, and you’re an inspiration to everyone in the team!