Pier owner cannot imagine a world where she wasn’t welcome because of her gender

PUBLISHED: 17:27 07 February 2018

Michelle Michael on the Grand Pier.

Michelle Michael on the Grand Pier.

Submitted

Although some aspects of gender equality are still often debated, the business world has proven a ‘welcoming’ place for one of the owners of Weston’s most famous landmark.

Grand Pier co-owner Michelle Michael took over running the tourist attraction in 2008 alongside her brother Kerry but has been a familiar face in the world of business since 1997.

In an environment which would have been considered a ‘man’s world’ by past generations, Ms Michael has gone on to become a successful entrepreneur.

She told the Mercury the support of her ‘friendly’ industry has been invaluable, especially during difficult times like in July 2008 when the pier went up in flames.

She added: “We were welcomed as a business by all other hospitality companies in our tourism association, the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions.

“We were shown behind the scenes, introduced to suppliers; we discussed prices, IT systems, rides, ticketing and almost everything else down to décor and durability of products.

“We could not have re-opened without this extremely relevant sharing of knowledge and experience.

“Throughout that journey, I did not once feel threatened as a woman or feel anyone had placed barriers up because of my gender.”

Ms Michael has faced little adversity in her field, saying she ‘could not imagine’ an environment where women were not welcomed in to the hospitality sector.

She added: “Sometimes in a debate with others, you may experience the feeling some may not know your experience or value your opinion, but usually this happens in an environment of change, where those in the mix have a reluctance to change.”

And as the business world continues to change, Ms Michael said it is ‘crucial’ to surround yourself with ‘good people’.

She added: “Treat them as you would wish to be treated yourself and take responsibility for the future of your business.

“We need to adapt to changes and it is your responsibility as the head of the business to ensure you are ahead of the curve.”

Other News Stories

29 minutes ago

Family and friends of a child with an illness raised £1,000 towards a life-changing operation for the toddler.

Read more
Yesterday, 21:00

A celebration of cats will be held at an RSPCA branch this weekend.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:00

Royal wedding fever certainly hit one couple, who decided to renew their vows on the same day Prince Harry tied the knot.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

A cascade of poppies has been planted in Hutton to mark 100 years of the RAF and the end of World War One.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:07

One lane is closed on the M5 northbound this afternoon (Wednesday) near Weston-super-Mare after a crash.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

One of Burnham’s most popular bi-annual events is returning for the sixth time this weekend.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

Young people from Weston-super-Mare are being offered the chance to visit Germany as part of an exchange programme.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

Dozens of objections have been submitted against a housing application in Kewstoke, planned for the same land as a proposed new school.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00

Hundreds of schoolchildren around Worle received free ice creams to mark the end of their exams.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:00

Toilets in Weston-super-Mare’s Town Hall will be repaired, but there is no fixed date for them to reopen.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 12°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder