We asked Lynda Quinn, Head of Human Resources with Tourism Ireland to share with us some insights on her experiences and how she draws inspiration from the environment around her, role models she had during her careers, the best advice she received since Covid-19 hit the world, and what does the slogan “Choose to Challenge” mean to her.
Tourism Ireland is responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination. The Leaning Tower of Pisa and the London Eye are two of the iconic sites which will join Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening to mark St Patrick’s Day 2021.
Voltedge: What is your current role and how long you have held this position?
Lynda: I am Head of Human Resources with Tourism Ireland. I took up this position in September 2020.
Voltedge: Where do you draw inspiration from?
Lynda: My children are a constant source of inspiration for me. Their sense of curiosity and wonder never ceases to amaze me. Their ability to cope and adapt to the COVID world has inspired me on those days where I may have struggled to make sense of all that was happening.
Voltedge: During the course of your career, was there a role model or mentor that stands out for you?
Lynda: A number of mentors come to mind. I am very fortunate to have worked with great leaders and mentors over the years and have always sought out their advice. Being surrounded by people who are passionate about what they do is what drives me forward.
Voltedge: What is the best piece of advice you received since Covid-19 hit the world?
Lynda: We’re certainly living in unprecedented and very challenging times, so one of the best pieces of advice I’ve been given is to take one day at a time – don’t be too hard on yourself!
Voltedge: Can you share with us 2 or 3 positives in your personal life that you have discovered during the pandemic?
Lynda: Like so many other people who’ve been working from home since last spring, one of the positives for me has included being able to spend more quality time with my family. I’ve regained many hours previously spent commuting to the office each week, which has meant a less frantic lifestyle for me. The COVID crisis has shown that it is possible to work effectively from home, without the stress of dealing with rush hour traffic and long commutes.
I now have more time to focus on my own wellbeing and have tried many different pastimes over the last 12 months – from baking, to cycling, to yoga to sea swimming. I haven’t found that one thing that I am truly passionate about, but I am enjoying having the time to explore all these new activities.
Voltedge: In light of so much remote working and social distancing, what practices or approach have you taken to try to communicate and collaborate effectively during this time and to support employees?
Lynda: Having taken up my role with Tourism Ireland in the middle of the pandemic I have not had the opportunity to meet most of my colleagues face to face. Even though we can’t meet in person for now, we’ve become really good at maximising the use of ICT for communication and collaboration. I have regular meetings with my own team on Teams/Zoom, so that we stay as connected as possible. I’ve also created a dynamic ‘wellness hub’ on our organisation’s intranet, which has become a really useful tool for staff. It includes a mindfulness section, tips for nutrition and healthy eating when working for home, as well as an ‘ideas hub’ for staff members to upload their own suggestions.
Voltedge: What does the slogan ‘Choose to Challenge’ mean to you?
Lynda: For me, ‘Choose to Challenge’ is about working to create a gender-equal world and greater inclusion in the workplace. It’s about actively challenging or calling out inequality or gender bias when I see it and, more positively, consciously celebrating the achievements of women.
Voltedge: What is your favourite quote and why?
Lynda: ‘Be kind’ – in these very strange times we have never needed to say this as much as we do now, whether it is with our family, our friends, our colleagues or ourselves! Life is really challenging for all of us right now so just by being a little bit kinder will help us get through this – with our sanity intact!