In conversation with Julia Wilkinson – IWD’22
When Anne-Marie and I talked about which inspirational women we wanted to include for our IWD2022 series, we both quickly agreed on Julia Wilkinson, who, without a doubt, is one of our favourite women in West End property. In the 20 plus years that we’ve known her, I don’t think there’s ever been a time we’ve not been greeted with her huge and welcoming smile.
As Shaftesbury’s restaurant strategy director there’s no one we trust more to ask about the latest hot restaurant openings. With nearly 25 years under Julia’s belt at Shaftesbury, it’s safe to say she knows a thing or two, hence why we love sitting with her and hearing about all the amazing food she’s recently tried and the exciting new chefs coming into the area.
The day we met Julia, in a restaurant (of course!), she was off that evening to talk at the Women in Property AGM. Here she revealed her instrumental role in rejuvenating areas of the West End by bringing onboard young and exciting operators, which has continued to help the area bounce back post-pandemic.
While ordinarily we love chatting all things food, it made a nice change to ask Julia what her thoughts were on #IWD2022 and this is what she said:
– What does International Women’s Day mean to you and why do you think it’s important?
For me, International Women’s Day is a celebration of individuality, passions and values, which is relevant to everyone. The recognition of the importance of diversity of thought and mutual respect to all situations has never been more important than at present.
– Which women inspire you and why?
Women with a passion, a purpose and a wicked sense of humour. These are the women who bring out the best in me and remind me constantly that anything is possible and in our gift.
– What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
To enjoy what you do.
– What are you most proud of?
Shaftesbury’s management team is over 50% female, with women leading in some of the most creative roles in the company. I’m proud to be a senior member of this team and to be in a position to support and encourage younger members, both male and female.