Louise Smalley, Group HR director, Whitbread

Louise Smalley joined the board of Whitbread in 2012, making the hospitality brand one of the most diverse in the FTSE 100 in terms of number of female board members

Louise Smalley joined the Premier Inn to Costa Coffee company in 1995 and has been group HR director for more than 10 years. Whitbread is the UK's largest and one of the fastest-growing hospitality companies. It now operates in 31 international markets around the world, employing more than 50,000 people in the UK alone. The company has been consistently credited as one of the top 10 large employers surveyed by Best Companies for the Sunday Times.

Smalley has held a variety of business change and HR roles across Whitbread’s businesses, including HR director of David Lloyd Leisure and Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants.

She previously worked as an HR professional in the oil industry for 10 years; firstly with BP and then Esso Petroleum. This allowed her to build a strong foundation of knowledge across all aspects of HR, with particular expertise in industrial relations.

Smalley joined the board of DS Smith in June 2014 inspired by its growth plans to redefine the role of packaging to help global customers in a rapidly-changing consumer and retail environment.

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