Debrah in running for national title

Debrah Dhugga.
Debrah Dhugga.

A SUCCESSFUL Northumberland businesswoman is in the running for a top national title.

Debrah Dhugga, who lives in Stannington, has been shortlisted for the Tourism and Leisure Woman of the Year award, to be presented on June 30. Her nomination is a result of her success as General Manager of five-star hotel Dukes in St James Place, Mayfair, London.

The executive previously worked as Director of Retail and Spa at ghd in Leeds and prior to that spent four years as Chief Executive of Tom’s Companies, which at the time owned such luxury hotels as The Samling and Seaham Hall.

Mrs Dhugga began her career with Swallow Hotels in 1981. She said: “I remember being told over and over again I would never make money in the hospitality industry because it’s a job, not a career.

“My message, especially to women in the industry, is to be strong, live your dream, do what you believe is right, work hard, share success, and don’t be afraid to ask questions along the way.”

Mrs Dhugga holds a fellowship with the Institute of Hospitality, is a trustee of the hospitality charity One and All, and is a member of the Institute of Directors, the Spa Association Advisory Board and Business Women Leaders.

She has also addressed the House of Lords and this year became a founding member of the Leading Ladies of London group, which is made up of female general managers of five star hotels who aim to share their experiences of how to make it to the top and encourage more women to become leaders in the sector.

However, Mrs Dhugga likes nothing more than relaxing at her Stannington home with husband Shindi and children Lauren and Kurran.

The First Women Awards, hosted by the CBI, aim to recognise pioneering women across business and professional life.

They will be presented at a ceremony at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London, on June 30.