Finding balance – with Emily Hopwood

By Zoe Cooney

We recently sat down with Emily Hopwood, Sales and Marketing Manager at the West Coast Wilderness Railway. Emily is an active member of Women in Tourism and Hospitality Tasmania (WITH Tas) and represents the organisation on the Board of the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania.

Emily is also a wife, mother of two and fierce believer in finding balance. In a world so focused on giving everything you’ve got at all times, she’s using her position in the Tasmanian tourism industry to encourage a supportive and sustainable culture.

“I think it’s really sad when we see great people burn out because we let them give too much,” Emily said. “We let people go too hard for too long without stepping in and saying ‘take a break’.

“This is so relevant to women because we carry so much of the mental load in other aspects of our lives. But a lot of that hard work goes unseen because it’s behind the scenes.

“I’d like to see us change the expectation that people need to put 110% into their jobs all the time.

“We need to balance that. Sometimes, it means we give 120% and other times it means we need to take 40% back to give us time to breathe.”

Emily is driving this culture change through her involvement in organisations like WITH, a community of women at all stages of their career, supporting and lifting each other up.

“Working with WITH has blown me away,” Emily said. “We might have a meeting and I’ll get three phone calls that afternoon asking ‘Hey, you seemed a little bit off, are you okay?’.

“It’s that level of support and noticing. I’ve never come across it before, other than with family.”

As Emily continues to set the culture from the top down, it is a timely reminder for all of us to find our balance.  Supporting each other to lean in and push ourselves in our roles is what makes the Tasmanian tourism industry so exciting and successful.

But in order for us to share what makes our beautiful state so special, we all need to find those moments for ourselves – moments to rebalance.