Whose history will you change?

This article was originally published on Imex Group. View Original

With our focus this month being on the theme of women, we are pleased to share this insight into how you can affect change in the world, as well as the workplace. Thank you to Dawn Repoli, Executive Director and COO of WINiT, a network of women and men focused on the career development, visibility and promotion of women in the travel, meeting, event and exhibition industries.

Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women” – Maya Angelou

A few months ago, I was on an international flight back to the US. I noticed a young woman boarding the plane with two other women. The younger woman took her seat, which happened to be right next me, and I immediately sensed something was off about the young woman and her companions. Over the course of the flight, through her broken English and my limited Spanish, I grew more and more certain that this young woman was a victim of human trafficking. I struggled with the decision to say something to the flight crew. What if I was wrong? What if I created a problem that didn’t exist? Letting my intuition and knowledge that our partners at ECPAT (Every Child Protected Against Trafficking) continue to promote and share, I notified the flight crew about my concern. Through their subsequent observations, they agreed. The plane landed in New York, and a full-scale investigation took place, confirming my suspicions about the safety and security of this young woman. Seeing the elation and relief on the face of that young woman as she was escorted off the plane by US authorities, free from her captors and hopefully toward the process of being reunited with her family, was one of the most moving experiences of my life.

Saying something is a choice

The choice to say something can make a real and lasting impact on the lives of others. This experience has given me a new lens through which to see so many things, personally and professionally. As the executive director of a non-profit focused on changing the careers and lives of women, I encourage every one of our members and leaders to consider how they can personally step up, be present, and use their voice and actions to change history – for others and for themselves.

Consider how many times you’ve witnessed or been involved in a situation in the workplace where the opportunity to influence someone’s experience or, ultimately an outcome, has presented itself. You saw something. Did you say something? If not, why? Did you fear it would have an impact on your own professional or personal reputation or progress? Fear is a very powerful emotion, one that many people struggle to move past, but when harnessed, it can affect significant, positive change. In reality, most situations you face where you must overcome your fear of saying something will leave you feeling more empowered, more fearless.

Whether it’s recognising a colleague’s efforts, negotiating your own salary increase, or voicing that a person is being overlooked and treated unfairly, so much progress can be realised through simply speaking up and taking action. Here are a few steps you can take tomorrow that can change the course of history for women, even if it’s one woman at a time:

  • Nominate a colleague for an award or accolade
  • Sponsor a more junior professional to help ensure she is visible and considered for growth opportunities
  • Engage in conversations with women and men about the importance of increasing visibility and opportunities for women
  • Institute and champion a “see something, say something” policy – informally or with the support of your HR organisation

With International Women’s Day now past and Women’s History Month coming to a close, I invite you to pause to reflect on the incredible number of women and men who have changed the course of history for women. Their legacy has paved the way for progress, but others must serve as stewards of that legacy, maintaining the momentum and forward movement toward gender parity. One of the most valuable lessons my experience with the young woman taught me was that small but great steps really do have the power to drive significant change. You just have to take the first step!


Industry Embraces March Celebrations of Women

Travel Weekly
By Michelle Baran

In the era of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, the travel industry is hoping this month’s International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month will offer opportunities to tout the positive role travel can and does play in empowering women.

Along those lines, Trafalgar last week launched the #SheGoes campaign designed to showcase the various ways travel inspires women. It consists of a series of five… Read Full Article


Egencia Hires Seasoned Marketing Executive Wendy White as VP Marketing

Company adds four women to the Egencia Global Leadership Team

Bellevue, Wash. March 8, 2018 – Egencia®, a leading global travel management company, announced the appointment of Wendy White, as its vice president of marketing and member of the Egencia Global Leadership Team, leading and inspiring all global marketing functions for the rapidly growing company.

White joins Egencia with over 20 years of global experience, leading marketing technology teams at CenturyLink, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola, and more.

“For Egencia to reach its aggressive growth goals, we need a world-class marketing organization willing to make bold moves. We’re confident Wendy’s expertise will help us achieve this audacious goal. The passion and drive she exudes extend beyond her role, and we look forward to seeing her accelerate the path for the next generation of women entrepreneurs and business leaders within Egencia,” said Rob Greyber, President of Egencia.

White’s hire follows the appointment of three additional female leaders to the Egencia Global Leadership Team, including Mieke De Schepper, Chief Commercial Officer; Verena Funke, Interim Managing Director, APAC; and Teresa Matheson, Managing Director, Australia. Egencia is aligned with Expedia Inc.’s commitment to gender, as well as other diversity representation at all levels.

“I’m proud to join a company that has been recognized for its commitment to fostering women in the workplace,” said White. “Within the global marketing organization alone, the diversity across gender and cultural background places us in the best position to address complex problems, improve decision-making, drive forward innovation and ultimately set us up for success.”

Workplace diversity, gender balance, pay parity and inclusion are key focus areas for delivering greater business results for the company, its employees and customers.  Expedia Inc achieved 100 percent gender pay parity across women and men in equivalent roles, with 35 percent of leadership positions held by women*.

In addition, workplace diversity is crucial in giving companies the ability to better understand and meet the needs of the customer. According to the Global Business Travel Association, 47 percent of women who travel are on the road for business.

To read more about workplace diversity from Egencia click here.

*Based on 2016 analysis of Expedia Inc employee pay data.

About Egencia

Egencia makes every business trip count for travelers and travel managers. The travel management company’s industry-leading technology platform simplifies the process of planning, booking and managing business travel. Relying on timely, data-driven insights from Egencia, businesses stay one step ahead by making choices that align with traveler preference and corporate policy. A dedicated team of travel consultants is ready to assist every step of the way, whenever and wherever needed. Egencia serves small, mid-cap and multi-national companies in more than 65 countries. To connect with Egencia, visit www.egencia.com or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn. You can also follow along on our blog.

© 2018 Egencia LLC.  All rights reserved.  Egencia, and the Egencia logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Media Contacts

Suong Nguyen | PR Manager, NA | snguyen@egencia.com | (425) 688-2287

Gillian Roberts | Crafted PR| egenciaNA@craftedpr.com | (818) 395-2948


How the Meeting Industry Will #PressforProgress on International Women’s Day

By Rich Luna
Mar 7, 2018

The most-talked about moment on Facebook’s social network in 2017 was not the Super Bowl or a presidential inauguration. Instead, the biggest moment was a year ago, March 8, 2017, when more than 165 million users of the social network talked, shared and posted more than 430 million… Read Full Article


BTN’s List of “2016 Women You Should Know” Feature WINiT Members

Congratulations to those featured on BTN’s “2016 Women You Should Know” ~ most are WINiT Members!


The Most Compelling Women in Travel 2015

Premier Traveler Magazine Honors Inspiring Women by Awarding the” Most Compelling Women in the Travel”

New York, NY, November 11, 2015 (Newswire) – ​​​​​​​​​​​​Premier Traveler continues to celebrate inspiring women by honoring the “Most Compelling Women in the Travel Industry” 2015. The November issue will reveal brief introductions to the women who are taking the lead in the travel industry. Throughout the coming year, Premier Traveler will elaborate on their stories through in-depth interviews, a dedicated section on our website and special events with male and female leaders from all corners of the world. With these efforts, we hope to accelerate the dialogue on diversity, awareness and sensitivity that makes for a better travel experience for everyone – a discourse that promises to become only livelier as we travel into the future.

> Read Full Article for Honorees