What is the Athena Mentoring programme all about?
Athena Mentoring is designed to nurture talented, driven and ambitious young women in the UK pub trade, assisting them in driving their careers forward. By pairing mentees with leading industry figures, they will be offered advice, counsel and guidance in their areas of specialism.
Why a female mentoring programme for the pub industry?
Currently women are significantly under-represented at senior levels within the sector. Athena Mentoring seeks to address this imbalance. The programme will support the next generation of women entering the industry, in turn delivering positive change and growth within the sector.
Who is the Athena Mentoring programme for?
Athena Mentoring has been created to offer dynamic and talented young women working within the UK pub trade the opportunity to develop their existing skill set under the guidance of key industry leaders.
Meet the mentors
Kevin has worked in the UK pub and brewing industry for the last 18 years having joined Bass Brewers in 1997. In 2003 Kevin left Molson Coors to join Punch Taverns as Regional Operations Director for the south west with responsibility for their estate of 480 pubs across the region. In 2007 Kevin was promoted to the role of Operations Director and was appointed to the Operating Board of Punch Taverns overseeing the operational performance of their pubs estate across the UK. In 2010 Kevin left Punch Taverns to take up the position of Managing Director of Admiral Taverns joining their Board and having responsibility for all operational and commercial aspects of the business. In February 2014 Kevin was promoted to the role of CEO, a role he still holds today. Kevin was also previously the Non-Executive Chairman of Dartmoor Brewery and is a Non-Executive Director of St. Austell Brewery. Kevin lives in Devon with his wife and 4 children.
Chris, 44, was appointed Managing Director, Spirit Leased in February 2012.
Prior to that, Chris was Operations Director at Greene King Pub Partners leading half of their Leased business. Chris has over 18 years’ experience in the industry and has held a number of senior operational roles in Greenalls, Pubmaster and Punch Taverns. Chris has also been a Non-Executive Director at the British Institute of Innkeeping from May 2014.
Stephen Gould joined the Board of Everards Brewery Ltd as Trade Director in March 2003 and was appointed Managing Director in March 2005.
He has worked in the pub and leisure industry for over 25 years in Human Resources, Operational and Commercial roles, previously with Bass Plc and Punch Taverns Plc. Stephen is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Bruce is Director Commercial Customers at BT Sport, a role he has held since the end of 2012. He leads the team which has successfully established BT Sport since launch in the commercial marketplace and specifically across the pubs, hotel and leisure industry. Prior to joining BT Sport, Bruce spent 15 years at Sky during which time he held senior roles in marketing, development, operations and sales. His route into media was via time spent in the technology industry working for the likes of Rank Xerox where, as he describes it, he was given an 'absurdly high level of autonomy to succeed and develop' at such an early stage of his career. Bruce is also a Non-Executive Director of the BII. He lives in Berkshire with his wife and 2 children.
Iain has spent 20 years working in the pub trade – and currently looks after 1,300 of them as the Operations Director for Marston’s Taverns & Leased Partners team. An early career with the Valuation Office and surveyors Dixon Webb led to his appointment at Scottish & Newcastle Retail where he was responsible for pub rent and lease renewals within central London. With this experience he became the Property Director for Marston’s Beer and Pub Company co-ordinating the disposal, management and investment of company assets. Within his current role he manages a team of over 100 people. He has overseen and implemented significant change within the Marston’s Taverns and Leased estate introducing the franchise model to the pub market. A passionate backer of good causes, and embracing open minded thinking he recently championed the Marston’s 'Give Back Week’. Here he put his best foot forward with a fire walk as part of a drive to raise over £600k for worthy causes.
Loving food and drink has been a central part of Ann’s career journey where she has held director level Marketing and Operational roles with Whitbread, Beefeater and Pizza Hut. In 2001, Ann branched out to set up Elliott Independent which soon grew to become elliotts. Ann and her team offer a niche specialist marketing, PR and research offering in food and drink, working with a wide range of clients from ‘field to fork’ across the leisure, hospitality and tourism industries.
She has been named as one of the 50 most influential people in the pub industry by the Publican’s Morning Advertiser and was previously elected to the Women’s 1st list of Top 100 Women in Hospitality, Travel and Tourism.
Susan was appointed Group HR Director in November 2012. Susan originally joined the Bass PLC graduate programme before progressing into Marketing roles for Bass Charrington, Toby Restaurants and Bass Inns and Taverns, as well as various Supply Chain roles. She briefly left the Company in 1998 to join Marston's as Purchasing Director. After two years Susan returned to Six Continents working in various Operations roles including Brand Operations Director for All Bar One and led the Mitchells & Butlers business transformation programme.
Suzanne Baker is the Commercial Director of Stonegate Pub Company, responsible for all commercial contracts including purchasing and property. Suzanne has spent her career within the licensed leisure sector having previously held Board positions in Bay Restaurant Group, Town and City Pub Company, Laurel Pub Company and JD Wetherspoon. She commenced her career joining Grandmet Retail in operations progressing within the marketing and purchasing roles across national brands, including Chef & Brewer. Suzanne is married with two boys and lives in Buckinghamshire.
Is Athena Mentoring the right thing for you?
What can you expect to gain from the programme?
As a mentee in the Athena Mentoring programme you will be challenged to define your professional growth objectives and will be supported in creating an aspirational development plan to help you reach your long term career goals.
Who should apply to the programme?
Applicants should be ambitious and inspired women who have been working within the UK pub industry for at least 5 years. You should have a passion for the sector, and a desire to be a leading part in it’s future growth.