Women in Travel Thrive corrects the imbalance in the workplace
In this inspiring Knowledge Hub session, Women in Travel Thrive (WITT) Founder Expedia Group North American Market Management & Lodging Senior Director Silvia Camarota and Aer Rianta International Retail Analytics Manager Mary Wyse highlight the impact of COVID-19 on inequality in the workplace and how travel can transform the industry to become more egalitarian and inclusive.
In a conversation with a fellow traveler, Hannah Tan-Gillies, brand editor and digital marketing manager of The Moodie Davitt Report, and Martin Moodie, founder and president of The Moodie Davitt Report, Camarota and Wyse highlight the value networking, community and support to help women thrive in the workplace.
Women in Travel Thrive (WITT) was created by a network of like-minded friends and associates in the travel industry who have become deeply concerned about the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women and their careers. WITT was created to help reduce and repair this impact.
In the pandemic world, Women in Travel Thrive plays a critical role in keeping women connected, providing a support system for women facing aggravated financial and emotional stress. Camarota says, “This community was founded at the height of the pandemic, when everyone was feeling isolated. Women were leaving the labor market at 4 times the rate for men during this period.
“Across the industry, we wanted to reach out, connect with each other, offer words of support and encouragement, and find a way to create a special connection in these virtual times. What started as a community of support has grown into a larger movement.
Thrive quickly garnered support at a time when women in the travel industry, and of course in retail, were not flourishing at all. It recently hosted its International Impact Day, with an EMEA Impact Day planned soon. He also launched Empowering Bundles to help women advance in their careers.
Women account for 54% of COVID-related job losses and the age gap between men and women in travel is expected to increase to 2% by the end of the pandemic. According to Camarota, this can be attributed to five root causes.
“There are five main causes why women are more affected by the pandemic,” explained Camarota. “These are unequal access to education, lack of equality in employment, occupational segregation, lack of legal protection and lack of bodily autonomy. These five root causes were magnified and women found themselves out of work.
Camarota added, “What we’re trying to do with WITT is find out what we can actually do in terms of resources to bring the conversation on gender equality to the table and take a step forward for it. change, so that the little things we do today can have a bigger impact tomorrow. This community was founded on the premise that there should be no barrier for women to enter and advance in the travel industry.
Much more than an organization, WITT has become a movement for women in industry. She has launched several initiatives that can concretely help women in these difficult times. These include the Virtual 3K Run, Thrive Match Program, and the upcoming EMEA Day of Impact on November 3.
Wyse commented, “We really encourage everyone to join us for the EMEA Day of Impact, which is the first in our region. The topic is “Turning Survival Into Prosperity”, which I think is perfect for the current EMEA region.
“As things start to open up, there is so much anxiety about turning everything back on. For me personally, without the support of WITT, coming back there would have been much more difficult. We hope to give back to the community by exploring this topic and we also have several inspiring key industry leaders in attendance.
Business has a big role to play in correcting the gender imbalance and Aer Rianta International and Expedia are both leaders in this regard. “ARI has partnered with The Moodie Davitt Report for a special makeover on International Women’s Day and is now updating our ‘Dignity and Mutual Respect’ policy,” said Wyse.
“ARI has also focused on promoting diversity and inclusion, there is a vision and a mission there with an emphasis on gender balance. ARI’s Women Rise initiative is also a great initiative that features inspiring interviews with various women leaders across our company.
Offering Expedia’s perspective, Camarota said, “I am incredibly proud to be supported by the Expedia Group, which has never shied away from publicizing its intention on gender equality and inclusion.
“One of the main reasons I was inspired by this movement in the travel industry was because of Expedia. Expedia supported me and encouraged me to pay next. Equality begins with the support of the business and that is how it turns into a larger conversation. Getting companies like Expedia to promote gender balance also helps start best practice conversations with other companies. “
Commenting on how the travel retail industry can transform to become more inclusive, Camarota said, “Travel is a force for good. We have a huge social responsibility and the more we talk about it the more we can become a role model for other industries and lead the way. I love that we are having this conversation now and I am grateful to Virtual Travel Retail Expo for giving us a platform to talk about this important topic.
“It’s all about visibility,” added Wyse. “If you can’t see it, you can’t be. It is also about empowering and helping others. You don’t have to be awesome to start, but you have to start somewhere to be awesome.
Watch the video to see the full Knowledge Hub program for the Virtual Travel Retail Expo