New association offers support for women in travel industry

The Women in Travel Thrive community offers free access to professional development, mentorship and other resources empowering women in the industry. Photo credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus / fizkes

In a bid to lessen the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, women in the travel industry are launching a global movement focused on reducing career regression and increasing representation of women in leadership roles across all travel and hospitality sectors.

The Women in Travel Thrive community offers free access to professional development, mentorship and other resources empowering women to maintain and build on their success as COVID-19 continues to disproportionately affect the lives and livelihoods of women. The initiative has 20 founding members representing more than a dozen travel brands and some of the industry’s top women leaders committed to serving as mentors, including Dorothy Dowling, chief marketing officer and SVP at Best Western Hotels & Resorts, and Melissa Maher, SVP of marketing and industry engagement at Expedia Group. 

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“It is estimated that women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to this crisis than men’s jobs and, for women in travel, the job losses and long-term risk for career regression are immense,” said Silvia Camarota, senior director of North America market management lodging at Expedia Group, a founding member of Women in Travel Thrive. “None of us could sit back and watch our roles and representation in leadership suffer amid the COVID-19 crisis, so we decided to do something about it. In just a few months, we have built a community where women are each other’s greatest champions and the connections we are making will undoubtedly ensure women not only achieve their potential but also secure their future in the travel industry.”

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Women in Travel Thrive is planning a virtual event where individuals who register as mentees will be formally connected with their mentors and receive access to resources to help regain control of and future-proof their careers in the travel industry. The event will be held Jan. 26–28, 2021. Those interested in mentorship or mentoring others can register online at www.womenintravelthrive.com.