Margot Slattery, the managing director of Ireland and Northern Ireland, Sodexo, has been named Woman of the Year at the Women 1st Shine Awards.
She was honoured at the annual awards gala dinner, held last night at the London Marriott Grosvenor Square hotel, hosted by former rugby union star Matt Dawson.
Set up to recognise female excellence in the hospitality, passenger transport, travel, and tourism industries, the awards this year also honoured Debrah Dhugga, general manager of Dukes hotel, London as the Mentor of the Year; Sarah Swaysland, marketing manager, Be At One Cocktail Bars (Stepping-Up Award); and McDonald's restaurants (Large Business Award).
A former chef, Slattery became Sodexo Ireland's first female managing director in September 2012. She started her career in hotels in Ireland before moving to London where she worked in the InterContinental hotel amongst other establishments.
On returning to Ireland in 1990, she decided to move into management and became a junior assistant manager with catering company Gardner Merchant in Dublin, which was subsequently bought by Sodexo in 1992. Having worked her way through the company to managing director, she said "It's been a great journey and you could rightfully say I am a walking example of how committed the company is to staff development."
The award's evening also saw 23 female business leaders - all who have reached the pinnacle of their career - inducted into the Women 1st Top 100 Club of the Most Influential Women in hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism. They were:
Anita Murray, managing director, William Murray Communications
Carolyne Vale, co-founder and managing director, Wilson Vale
Fiona Legros, managing director, Results Search & Selection
Fiona Ryland, HR director, Compass Group UK and Ireland
Franca Knowles MBE, people director, Beds and Bars
Julie Moore, managing director, Green Gourmet Ltd.
Karen Davies, HR director, Novus Leisure
Kate Nicholls, strategic affairs director, Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR)
Lynn Hood, managing director, The Belfry Hotel and Golf Resort
Lynne Graham, human resources director, Westbury Street Holdings (WSH)
Margot Slattery, managing director Ireland and Northern Ireland, Sodexo Ltd.
Niccola Boyd-Stevenson, managing director, Panache Consultancy Ltd, and vice-chair, Foodservice Consultants Society International UK and Ireland
Susan Martindale, group HR director, Mitchells & Butlers
Simone Roche, director of Women 1st said: "The calibre of our winners and the new inductees into the Top 100 Club suggests that the future success of the industry is in safe hands.
"Women 1st is proud to recognise the accomplishments that the Shine Awards showcase and we hope they will encourage and motivate both women and men to pursue their career aspirations, within our industry, with tenacity and enthusiasm."