IWD logo

#EmbraceEquity this International Women’s Day

This International Women’s Day, we’re opening the floor to the women in Corporate Traveller.

Here's what they have to say about women in the travel industry, and our role in supporting female travellers and travel bookers.

This year’s theme is all about #EmbraceEquality which we’re definitely here for!

Corporate Traveller Fast Facts

  • Staff total: 173 women / 123 men 
  • Staff in managerial positions: 64 women / 54 men 
  • % of staff returning from maternity leave: 66%

Our women in the spotlight are:

Lucy Pearce, Corporate Traveller

Lucy Pearce

Customer Success Enablement Manager and Wellbeing Ambassador
Poppy Miller, Corporate Traveller

Poppy Miller

Onboarding Manager
Hannah Jarvis, Corporate Traveller

Hannah Jarvis

Head of Customer Success
Poppy Bell, Corporate Traveller

Poppy Bell

Director of Sales, Corporate Traveller Stage Screen & Sports
Rachel Kendall - Customer Success Manager

Rachel Kendall

Customer Success Team Manager

What does #EmbraceEquity mean to you?

Lucy: It means equality for women in the workplace and in life. There's still work to be done in stereotyping women and creating the same opportunities for all genders. Celebrating and championing women is one way that we can do this.

Poppy M: #EmbraceEquity means empowering my generation of women to maximise our skill set, seize opportunities, realise our potential and become tomorrow’s leaders. 

Hannah: I have always been fiercely independent and believe my ability to do a job is based on just that, ability. Certainly not gender. However I am lucky enough to work in a diverse industry. I have access to many clients who don’t and in 2022 it is concerning that women are still pigeon holed for certain roles. 

Rachel: It means flipping our unconscious actions based on learned and outdated gender norms on their heads! It means consciously choosing to treat women more equally, not assuming, not labelling something as a ‘female’ attribute in a negative connotation like, wow that was a blonde moment!. And above all being an ally to each other! It’s critical that we see this from the very top down, and it needs to be consistent, so fostering gender equality becomes a cultural norm in the workplace.

Poppy B: Embracing equality means all genders are afforded the same levels of freedom. Freedom to progress, freedom to provide, freedom to safely be, freedom to thrive.

What more could be done to forge women’s equality in the travel industry?

Rachel: SO MUCH! But it’s not just the travel industry it’s across every industry. A huge focus making shared parental leave more of an option for families is a start, so many fathers still don’t take it as its not financially viable. Giving both parents the option to take a full year off, not exclusive of the other, with 3-6 months’ pay would be a huge start. 

Poppy M: I believe the focus within the travel industry should be on the development of skills through sustained mentoring – we need more women at the top, leading the way, using their voice for gender equality. 

Lucy: Considering the balance of genders across the different business areas would make a big difference. We do still have some areas where woman are in the minority. A review/update of female specific policies would be good. Many companies offer compassionate leave and support for subjects like IVF, miscarriage and menopause. Supporting women’s charities would also be a great way to support equality.

Hannah: When you look at leadership, generally women are still out-numbered by men so we need to see more women in charge.

Poppy B: The travel industry is a hub of female activity with so many women in upper management positions in all areas of the sector. I do really think that this is an industry that already very much leans in!

How does Corporate Traveller value and celebrate different genders?

Poppy B: Personally, throughout my time at Flight Centre Travel Group (Corporate Traveller’s parent company) I’ve never felt limited by my gender or situation, and have always been actively encouraged to grab opportunities with both hands. I know this to be standard practice across the group. There is no shortage of female role models within senior management around the globe which is incredibly inspiring and ensures that glass ceilings are most definitely an alien concept within FCTG!

Rachel: It’s encouraging to see that we're actively working to change and be a more inclusive environment for all. Progress in better parental leave pay and flexible working hours have really contributed to making life easier and more manageable for working parents which plays a huge role in promoting equality, as well as partnering with enei to actively work to make our company more inclusive. However, there is so much more that can be done! Actively working to ensure we have a more balanced gender representation in all levels of management is a key area that needs work. Educating male colleagues to be allies to women they work with and standing up for them if they witness sexism or harassment, and educating them on what actually constitutes as sexism or harassment. A mentorship programme specifically aimed at female employees at multi levels would also be incredible. How can we give a voice to strong and supportive female leadership and how can we give confidence and belief to female employees to rise to the top?

Lucy: We do have many strong woman in senior roles and whilst not perfect we do have a good balance of genders across the business. Reward, recognition and remuneration is transparent in Corporate Traveller and equal across the genders.

Hannah: Corporate Traveller hired the amazing Jodi Goldman to run several Female Empowerment & Leadership Programme courses and I was on the first one. Hands down the best course that I have done within my career here.

How does Corporate Traveller support female travellers and bookers?

Lucy: We support female travellers by ensuring our team of experts understand the culture of the countries they are travelling to and advising/booking accordingly. Being aware that we must adapt and consider things that we may not have to consider in the UK is very important. I once had a female client that regularly flew in the North Africa on routes used by male construction workers and we would make special arrangements for them to be seated in certain areas of the aircraft.

Poppy M: All our travellers can access the Sam app for easy contact with their travel consultant. This is enhanced with duty of care features for peace of mind for all travel bookers, as they can know where all their travellers are.

Hannah:  Corporate Traveller will offer support to travellers or bookers whenever it's needed .  A few years ago we saw many hotels offer ‘female only’ floors and we were very quick to support and promote this offering to female business travellers who were travelling on their own.  Sometimes big cities can feel daunting, especially when arriving at night, so this offered an level of security.  Now we see more female travellers requesting hotels within close proximity to public transport or hotels that have restaurants or gym facilities on site.  We ensure that travel bookers have full access to our mobile apps so have visibility of where their travellers are and if there are any delays. Flexibility is key - the importance of family or personal demands mean that travel needs to be more flexible and fit around our lives.

Wellbeing on business trips? We've got the insights