An essential component in any of our Homes is catering. At Regis, we’re fortunate to have Melinda Beilby as our National Catering Manager, who ensures the provision of food and beverages in our Homes. As one of the many incredible women currently working at Regis, we recently spoke with Melinda in the lead up to this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) to gain an insight into her experiences facing hostility in the workplace and the messages she wants to pass on to other women in the industry.

IWD is an excellent opportunity to reflect on women’s successes every day at all levels within our organisation. To Melinda, IWD “represents a celebration of women and their achievements towards a gender-equal world. I particularly like the theme this year of #BreakTheBias. Everyone can do this together.” The strive for gender equality is a vital theme and one that Regis is proud to support.

Melinda faced stereotyping and bias while under university placement and working in bars, hotels, and cafes throughout Western Australia. “My time in kitchens highlighted the Chef gender stereotype. I worked quite often as the only female in a very male-dominated environment, and I was meant to conform to this and act like one of the boys. I called them out many times, and this experience encouraged me to work towards management and eliminate this behaviour from kitchens.” Reflecting on her time now with Regis, Melinda says that she is “proud to be part of a national catering team where we have inspirational women working as Regional Catering Managers, Chef Managers, Cooks, and FSAs.” We’re also proud to have women such as Melinda heading up management roles throughout the organisation.

Upon speaking of those that inspired her, Melinda makes special mention of her 12-year-old daughter and her mother as being key influences. “I also have so many strong female friends who fight for gender equality and rally together to support each other. I have female managers who have made me believe in myself and helped me achieve what I have.”

Melinda has been with Regis for 11 years and has always “felt supported by my team, my colleagues, and management.” When asked what message she has for other women in the sector and beyond, Melinda says, “don’t be afraid to call people out on gendered actions and challenge gender stereotypes and discrimination.”

We thank Melinda, and all women in our organisation, for their outstanding achievements and commitment to the Regis family values.