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Cruise line VP tells Australian women: ‘Be brave!’

March 12, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Women should strive to be brave and courageous – not perfect.

That advice is from Carnival Cruise Line vice president Australia, Jennifer Vandekreeke, who told key travel industry representatives at an International Women’s Day event in Sydney last Thursday that: “Girls are taught to be perfect, boys are taught to be brave.

“If you don’t believe me, think about which uniform is more suited to climbing to the top of the monkey bars in the school playground?”

Carnival Cruise Line vice president Australia, Jennifer Vandekreeke (fifth from left) with Carnival colleagues


Called ‘Inspiring Greatness’. the event was hosted by Jito Connected and sponsored in part by Carnival Australia.

Vandekreeke shared inspiring examples of fearless women who’ve had the courage to step into leadership roles.

One of them, she said, was Carnival Cruise Line president, Christine Duffy.

“Years ago, Christine Duffy was rejected by Pan Am as a stewardess because she was less than five-foot-two [157cm] so instead she took her love of travel to work as a travel agency receptionist,” Vandekreeke related.

“Through hard work, dedication and measured risk taking, she rose through the ranks to become the President of the largest cruise line in the world – Carnival Cruise Line. She now oversees 26 ships, 40,000 employees and the vacation dreams of 5-million guests annually.”

Vandekreeke was one of four women to host a “hard skills” boot camp at the Inspiring Greatness event, designed to make proceedings as practical as possible. Vandekreeke’s finance-focussed session included the observation that women too often shy away from the numbers, which holds them back from achieving greater success in business.

“Too many times I’ve heard women say out loud ‘I hate numbers’ but with men I virtually never hear that phrase. As women, we need to get comfortable with the numbers because at the end of the day, strong financial acumen is a key attribute to success.”

Jito Connected founded the Inspiring Greatness event, which is now in its second year. The event aims to inspire women at all levels of leadership and open up a conversation that will create a ripple effect, helping Australians to encourage other women to greatness. Carnival Australia is a key sponsor and partner.

Edited by Peter Needham

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