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The Travel Corporation Celebrates International Women’s Day

March 11, 2019 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

It’s not much more than 100 years since women in Australia were first allowed to vote. Less than 75 years ago, just under 20% of women went on to tertiary qualifications. Less than 60 years ago women who chose to marry were required to not just resign from their jobs but retire from their careers. Less than 20 years ago women were not allowed in combat roles in the military.

Here in Australia, we’ve come a long way and we are privileged to have the social, economic, cultural and political empowerment that we do, when so many women across the globe do not. However, the stats are well researched, we are not leading the diversity race. Only 20% of our senior business leaders are women, and only 3% of our top 100 companies have a female CEO. 40% of businesses have no female representation on their boards, and the gender pay gap on an annual basis is 18%.

Ahead of this year’s International Women’s Day on 8th March, The Travel Corporation has asked our female leaders, “What does International Women’s Day mean to you?”

Fiona Dalton, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection and U Cruises, Managing Director 

Through the liberation of women’s rights and now through platforms like IWD, we’ve come a long way. While there will always be more to do, IWD shines the light on equality but it is also about celebrating those milestones that for the most part that have allowed me, and now my daughter, to achieve what we want to achieve and be who we want to be. This year I’ll be taking a moment on IWD to recognise, acknowledge and give private thanks to some women who have paved the way for my generation and inspired me in my career both in Australia and beyond. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Michelle Obama, Sheryl Sandberg, Julie Bishop, Ronnie Kahn and my good friend Romilly Madew. These women are relentless in their pursuit to do more, give more and create more. More importantly what drives them is why they do it. They are determined to make a difference, and they are. 

Sally Sylvester, Trafalgar, Head of Sales 

It’s a time where we can encourage all women, of all ages, to stand tall and be confident. Sharing stories of not only success but more importantly the challenges and failures, so that we can all learn from each other to become stronger, resilient and courageous human beings.

Katrina Barry, Contiki, Managing Director

For me, International women’s day is firstly about celebrating the achievement of women. In the travel industry we are very lucky. We over index on female representation across the levels. However, the stats are well researched, we are not leading the diversity race. Only 20% of our senior business leaders are women, and only 3% of our top 100 companies have a female CEO. 40% of businesses have no female representation on their boards, and the gender pay gap on an annual basis is 18%. There is a catch 22 for the travel industry though, last year’s government study on gender pay gap shows that female managers in female-dominated industries like travel, earn considerably less than their male colleagues. If a woman in the same job is paid 18% less, this is more so in female dominated industries. We have a way to go on driving female leadership, we need to face these challenges together – and that is the call to action on IWD for all of us.

Emma Prineas, AAT Kings and Inspiring Journeys, Head of Marketing

International women’s day to me means choices for women. I look to a future where women, both in Australia and all over the world, are able to choose their future, through education, empowerment and development. There are so many inspirational women breaking ground within their own communities, spurred on by their stories of others, globally. The stories of individuals who have dared to be the drivers of change, those including Malala Yousafzai, Natalie Isaacs and Nadia Murad, inspire me daily to challenge the status quo, and be unremitting in supporting other women in their struggle for equality. 

Alison O’Loughlin, Adventure World Travel, Marketing Manager

International Women’s Day is an important recognition to showcase the contribution we, as women, make to society. Not only do we play an essential nurturing role within our wider families as mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters and daughters, we also contribute in a myriad of ways to bring a considered and balanced perspective to societies, organisations and communities worldwide. For the most part, the focus is on ensuring that our skills and experience are equally rewarded in the workplace and that we are given the opportunity and support to progress in our careers. In other areas, here and around the world, the path to equality is much more arduous, but it is crucial in improving the outcomes of women and girls internationally. When women are empowered, our society is more empowered. This is the crucial message that International Women’s Day seeks to convey – that we all have the responsibility to build a stronger society through female empowerment. 

Karen Deveson, Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold, Head of Marketing

When International Woman’s Day comes around each year, one of my first thoughts is how far into the future we will need to mark a day in our calendars to celebrate women? I’m always inspired by the stories and triumphs of women, but I am equally as inspired by the stories of people. I feel very lucky personally to have found fulfilment on a lateral level – I’ve had a diverse career, am a mum to three amazing girls and have a passion for continuous learning. My motivation and resilience have been inspired by many women but also by some great men in my life too. So, for me in celebrating women, I say cheers to the great men and women who have played special roles in our lives and led us to be independent thinkers. 

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