MEET EMMA HOBSON, DERMALOGICA DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION ASIA PACIFIC

Tell us what it means to be a woman in business?

“As each year passes I get more excited about the new opportunities that present themselves for women in business. I am a member of a female associations and I see their memberships grow with a high calibre of young, female professionals. I am a witness to seeing more confident, capable, empowered women who are taking equal standing in the workplace. Being in an industry primarily of women, owned predominantly by women and serving a customer base mostly of women makes me feel exceptionally proud, we are one of the biggest, fastest growing industries on earth. This translates to powerful women, creating powerful, connected communities, empowering other women to succeed from all walks of life. What still frustrates me to this day is how difficult it is for women to get funding from financial institutions to open new or expand businesses. Though statistically women are a much ‘better bet’ to provide a loan and have the repayments made on time, as well as those businesses being more likely to survive than those open by men, it still seems women still get the hard end of the stick, even more so if they are from a diverse, minority group. In 2021 women in business receive my ultimate respect, in many cases they have so many roles that they manage to do brilliantly, wife, mother, child carer (we’ve all seen the COVID Zoom calls with screaming children in the background) home maker, business owner, an employer in uncertain times and teacher. How women manage to fit all they do in a 24 hour day is a marvel, and doing this all with the kindness and empathy needed through COVID is nothing short of being ‘wonder women’.”

What are your plans for 2021?

“When I spoke to my team regarding our goals and strategy for 2021 I shared with them our mantra for the year which is ‘ fluid and flexible’. On January 1st as much as we all wanted 2020 to end so we could start afresh, really there was no reset button we could press that would make things get better or back to the old normal. 2021 will be better because we have all learnt how to work with and cope with COVID, it hasn’t gone anywhere, so can we expect any great change until mass vaccinations have been taken by Australians which will mean more of the same until probably the end of the year. So our plans are to organise everything with education that involves face to face interaction with plan A AND plan B, always asking ourselves “what if ” so contingency is the word. Past that, it is about reinventing education which has been adjusted to reflect the new normal, how we perform our treatments, how we connect with our customers in this digital world, how we accelerate blending learning that combines on line self-lead courses with digital webinars and face to face engagement. How we will continue to offer a plethora of shot modular education that everyone can fit into their busy lives. 2021 is another year of exceptional support for our customers, depending on which state they are in, some will need even more help than they did in 2020 as they face the end of job keeper, businesses around them that may close and have clients who may lose their jobs, landlords who may be less supportive or financial institutions that may not be sympathetic to their financial challenges. We need to continue to drive the combo of the traditional face to face customer interaction and the new digital customer connection, salon owners have to be cautious not to revert back to the old ways of working and abandoning all the hard work they did digitally in 2020 with their customers. 2021 also brings some exciting new innovations throughout the year that education is excited to be bringing to life and sharing with our accounts. All in all we look at 2021 as a year of exciting opportunity, intermixed with the challenges COVID brings to small business and definitely a year that once again will propel us into a new and exciting way of working and interacting with our customers.”

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