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Q&A with Heather Landex

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Heather Landex, Best-selling Author & CEO @ Inclusive Food Service Ltd

How could you describe your career path in a few words?

I've made various career changes in my life, starting out in hospitality to support studies, then working in conservation in Australia following graduation to realise it's a bit too brutal towards animals despite the good intentions. I retrained as a Dive Master with ambitions to work in marine conservation more passively (an observer rather than trapping/tagging animals) but it turned out to be similarly harsh for my squeamish mentality. I pivoted to the protection of humans & trained as an Environmental Health Practitioner. My life, work and educational experiences are now combined in my entrepreneurial endeavours as a vegan, allergic, food safety specialist. Europe's Only Food Inclusivity Coach-sultant.

What was your most challenging experience and how did it change your mindset?

My most challenging experience in life has been becoming a parent whilst starting a business. My business was born out of necessity (pun intended), it has been a steep learning curve, personally and professionally. One of the most vulnerable and satisfying moments was publishing a book exposing all my opinions, experiences and challenging the status quo for my industry (all three industries, food safety, hospitality and conservation). It also pragmatically used my skills and disadvantages as an allergic person, difficulties of eating out as a vegan and the challenges of being employed as hospitality staff and as a food safety auditor to the hospitality industry. I'm pretty unique, and it's cool I can use that in a positive helpful way. I've not only changed my own mindset, I'm attempting to change others for the benefit of customers, businesses, safety and conservation of the planet.

When you get surprised by unusual or uncertain situations, what do you think?

My general life motto has become, most things are figure-outable. I've had my eyes opened about greenwashing in marketing, often with some dire side effects for the allergic community. The pandemic marked a strong shift in my business towards being more "on-purpose" and more independent of large compliance companies. I've moved away from corporate clients into individuals. I've come to appreciate - change is hard for people, especially with large organisations. The status quo has a lot to answer for.

Based on your experience, what are the key success factor for a female leader / manager?

In full acknowledgement of the generalisation, females need to be bolder, braver and believe

in themselves more. It at least appears that females suffer imposter syndrome and self-doubt to a greater extent than their male peers. I've taken a few bold (scary) steps in my business which have given me immense personal satisfaction and aligned my business with my values. Particularly in the early days of the pandemic when uncertainly was killing off businesses left right and centre belief in my purpose kept me going. I was initially following a hunch without knowing the final outcome. Intuition is not necessarily knowing what to do. The hunch was "food inclusivity is profitable", this unanswered question was the foundation of my book and has led to my recent business development, messaging, networking and brand identity. It turns out it is absolutely profitable and fundamentally necessary to all food businesses.

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