Sharni Tapuke-O’Neal

Sharni Tapuke-O’Neal Courtesy of Sharni Tapuke-O’Neal

Sharni Tapuke-O’Neal came on board as the general manager for front of house at Henrietta Hudson, the country’s longest-standing lesbian-owned bar, for the iconic venue’s May reopening. In her new position, Tapuke-O’Neal works hard to give back to the LGBTQ+ community, starting by creating a safe space for her hires. “Everyone stated to me that they wanted to work somewhere they would feel accepted as their authentic selves,” she tells GO. Through “accepting and using their correct pronouns… [and] giving them the space to speak freely about themselves without judgment,” she’s been able to do just that. For Tapuke-O’Neal, working in hospitality came naturally, as she found she enjoyed making genuine connections with people. Managing a team allows her to lift others up within the community, something she thinks is desperately needed in the industry. “From a young age, I noticed the disparity between roles held by male and female managers, let alone people within the LGBTQIA community,” Tapuke-O’Neal says. “It was not until six years into my career that I had ever met or worked for a female business owner.” Now, she is the leader she always wanted to work for and is creating space for others to work their way up, too. —NT

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