Sonia joined Scott Dunn in January 2018 having worked in a number of different industries, including Chief Commercial Officer at NetJets and as European Change Director at Sysco. These roles along with 8 years in strategy consulting have given Sonia significant experience leading and working with global teams. She was named one of the ‘Women to Watch in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure Index 2019′.
1. Best piece of advice you’ve been given
“the only person who looks after your career is you” – if I am not happy or want a change, it is my responsibility to do something about it, not wait for someone else.
2. Worst piece of advice you’ve been given
“just let it go, it isn’t worth making a fuss about”. Too often I have heard the advice to not speak up, don’t raise a problem, its always been like this. I strongly believe that if something doesn’t sit right with me, goes against my values, then it is important to step up and see if you can change it, rather than hope it will go away
3. What would you tell your younger self?
There is no such thing as normal – everyone has their quirks and wonky bits. Its OK not to fit in, just be you, you will be happier. I think this is even more important in today’s world where social media is so prevalent. The pressure on young people to have an Instagram perfect life is enormous, but the reality is always far different from the post. Everyone is unique and we need to be comfortable being ourselves and also accepting of others.
4. What excites you most about the future of your industry?
Working in the travel industry through this global pandemic has been far from easy. But travel will return and as an industry we are having to be increasingly nimble, reacting as destinations open / close. We need to continue to focus on guest service but this isn’t necessarily the same as it was pre-Covid. The rule book has to a large degree been thrown out – it isn’t just about survival but survive, change and thrive. Travel helps drive economies, both in developed and developing countries, supports education and gives people an understanding and hopefully a respect of other cultures. Yes it has its challenges and needs to be more focused on being more sustainable so that travel can continue for generations to come.
5. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
My parents. My mum for being a working mother, teaching me independence and ensuring (without trying) that I knew gender is no barrier to success. My father for always believing in me, without reservation, and for listening and gently pushing me forwards without me realising it.