The Female Leaders in Travel Conclave works to empower women within the travel industry to reach new heights, and this year its third meeting held a new meaning for the women involved.
Fifty-eight women attended the meeting at Secrets The Vine in Cancun earlier in June, organized by Jennifer Doncsecz, President of VIP Vacations and Chair for the Travel A.L.L.I.E.S. Society.
The Female Leaders in Travel Conclave was attended by leaders in travel such as Paula Hayes, VP Sales for Globus Family of Brands, who was awarded this year’s Luminary Award, as well as Annette Comer, author of Rescue Me, who provided the keynote speech.
“This was the 3rd year in a row that Female Leaders in Travel Conclave was held. The mission of this event is for women to come together and feel supported, valued and encouraged so that they can rise within their company,” said Doncsecz. “Leveling up on leadership skills is at the heart of the event; however, the real takeaway is that these women form strong bonds with each other which creates a unique tribe. Over the past 18 months, the ladies that attended the previous conclaves helped each other get through the aftermath COVID-19 had on the travel industry. We shared strategies, tactics and provided advice to each other… Last year’s conclave was focused on dealing with disruption and being supportive. This year it was about gleaning from the lessons that COVID-19 taught us so that we can be stronger!”
The Female Leaders in Travel Conclave is not a normal networking event. Instead, it leads with vulnerability, choosing instead not to begin with the stereotypical ice-breakers but asking the question, “What discomfort or hardship did you learn from this last year?” Through sharing personal stories of hardship, real friends are made.
Lori Speers, Owner of Levarté Travel, says she found her “tribe” at this year’s event: “I made a tough decision to go into business for myself. I left a very well-paid position running a host agency and refused a very lucrative offer from another company to run their host agency to venture off and do this for myself. I’m 58 years old and was a great employee. But now I needed to be an owner, a better leader, and I was battling my fears every day! I feel that attending the Female Leaders in Travel Conclave has made me a better person and a better leader. I have sharpened and gained new skills. But not only that, I also have a deep feeling of belonging to a group of women that I know I can call on for anything. I have a tribe!”
Women have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic; according to Facebook’s Global State of Small Business Report that was published in April 2021, across the globe, 27 percent of women-owned small businesses had closed due to the pandemic, whereas 21 percent of men-owned small businesses closed.
Furthermore, the World Travel and Tourism Council’s newest research found that women make up 54 percent of the world’s travel and tourism industry, yet only a fraction of that number is found in key leadership positions.
Vanessa McGovern is the Co-Founder & Chief Sales Officer of the Gifted Travel Network. She’s attended the Female Leaders in Travel Conclave twice. “We need more unification in our industry from all segments so we can elevate the status of our profession to consumers, media and lawmakers. Coming together to learn from one another so we can uplift and grow is how we can continue to move forward in a meaningful way. There is so much to learn between agency leaders and partners. This event broke down walls with partners and created the space for us to truly learn from several powerhouse women in global sales roles on how they lead.”
The Female Leaders in Travel Conclave is organized by the Travel A.L.L.I.E.S. Society, which helps leaders of travel agencies to grow in their leadership roles. Members of the society will receive invitations to all of its events prior to the public being notified. Future events this year include the Young Leaders in Travel Council on September 16-19 at the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall in Jamaica and the ELEVATE Leaders in Travel Symposium on October 9-12 at Secrets Riviera Maya.
Originally Appeared On: https://www.travelpulse.com/news/travel-agents/female-leaders-in-travel-come-together.html