International Women's Day: 28-50

Q&A with Joanna Laforge, Commercial Director at 28-50

 Tell us about your role and your business.

We are a privately owned hospitality group with six restaurants in central London, two located in Marylebone Village, including Jazz Club & Restaurant – 28°-50° By Night, and a collection of hotels, chalets and villas in the French Alps, St Tropez and Mallorca. My role as Commercial Director is overseeing the entire customer service process from start to finish, which involves heading up sales, marketing and customer relations.


What inspired you to choose a career in Hospitality?

A love of working with people and the enjoyment of ensuring our clients have a memorable experience each time they come to our venues, whether it be for a meal, an event, a special occasion or a winter/summer holiday related to our travel business.  


Based on your own experience, what advice would you have for women wanting to get into your industry, or start a business of their own?

There are undoubtedly challenges women have to navigate in the industry, but ultimately I have found that for me, success simply comes down to continual hard work and determination.


Which women have inspired you most throughout your life?

My mother worked hard all her life but always endeavoured to make time for my sister and I. She took time to listen and encourage us and still does despite us both being mothers who are busy balancing work and family life. I strive to ensure that, like her, I make time for the people in my life, both at work and home, by being there for them and listening properly.