International Women’s Day: Louise Kemp

Today we sat down with Nineteen Agency Director and co-owner of Nineteen Agency, Louise Kemp. 

Louise, alongside her business partner, Anna Vieira, has taken the culinary world by storm and they count some of the North West’s most popular eateries such as Gino D’Acampo Hotels & Leisure, Hell Yeah Hospitality and Lerpwl as clients.

Louise, why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?

Celebrating accomplishments of women all over the world is really important, the real goal would be to not have the need for International Women’s Day at all. Gender equality currently feels so far away but recognising how far we have come is something we celebrate on IWD.

Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?

Yes many times, I think sexism in the workplace is a hidden issue most of the time. It can be upsetting and confidence knocking. In my particular case, I chose to question the remarks openly and decided that I wanted to set an example to my two daughters that this behaviour is unacceptable. Having had my own business now for 4 years, one of the main drivers is to provide an open, ego free environment where all views are heard and gender is irrelevant. We want women to feel empowered and in control of their own destiny.

What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?

Set your standards high and never let anyone question them.

How can we encourage more women to pursue entrepreneurship or senior leadership roles in their career?

We have to start young. Showing young women of all ages that can achieve whatever you want. As a mother of 3 (2 girls and 1 boy) I have always strived to be the best I can and show them that as a business owner – its not my gender that is important but my passion and drive.

Has there been a particular woman that has inspired you in your career?

I have always surrounded myself with strong women, I gravitate naturally towards them. In my career I have been lucky enough to meet many strong women but my business partner Anna has been someone who has inspired me so much. She makes me a better person in so many ways and I would be lost without her. She is always there for me and my biggest supporter. Her superpower is calmness – something I don’t always have!

Why do you think diversity in the workplace is so important?

The industry I work in, hospitality is still unfortunately male driven. Having a female voice at senior board level is something we need to see more. Having a female point of view on things is so important and yet largely ignored. Until we see more of that we will continue to feel ignored.

Thanks for chatting Louise!