Melissa Maher, Expedia, Inc.

Melissa Maher, SVP, Global Partner Group, Expedia, Inc.

Melissa Maher, a high-ranking leader at Expedia, Inc., has made it a personal goal of hers to elevate women in leadership within the hospitality and tech industries. She’s at the forefront of a new program at Expedia, Leading For Change, with those exact goals. “Right now we are focusing internally on some cool initiatives as well as processes and procedures to help women within [Expedia],” Maher said. “After that, we have plans to extend further into the industry. We would love to be a thought leader in this space.” Because Expedia is an online travel agent, Maher said it is important to be nimble and accepting of change, and she finds inspiration in watching her team adapt to influence the industry from the outside. In many ways, Maher is beating the same drum as other leaders at her company, and she draws on the influence of her team, her partners and her leaders, such as recently departed Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who Maher said is constantly innovating, thinking about change and taking risks. “They helped change the culture around me to be about testing and learning,” she said. “I really enjoyed and adapted to that. It led me to that winning attitude.” She said it is important for women who wish to be successful to build upon their personal brand as they grow in experience, and to never stop trying new things. “As I look back on when I started out, I would have taken more risks.”

Melissa Maher, Expedia, Inc.

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