In an exclusive interview with Kylie Paatsch, WomenWise ambassador and Flight Centre leadership expert, we get wise to a better career in travel.


Flight Centre’s WomenWise initiative was started in 2015 by a group of Flight Centre’s senior female leaders. Their idea was to inspire all women by showcasing opportunity, providing role models and offering structured support to create gender balance in all leadership teams across Flight Centre.

There are annual WomenWise luncheons with prominent guest speakers, a strong mentor program and helpful culture of collaboration and sharing.

Kylie, who has worked in the industry for over two decades, answered a few questions about this forward-thinking approach:


Which female leaders in the travel industry inspire you?

WomenWise Lunch

Although this may sound a little bias, Flight Centre Travel Groups COO, Melanie Waters-Ryan is definitely a stand out for me. Not only because she recently took out first place in the Women in Travel Awards, but because she is intelligent, personable and a champion for other women in the industry.


How did you first discover Flight Centre’s initiative ‘WomenWise’?

Carole Cooper, one of the brains behind Womenwise, invited me to be part of the committee. My first committee meeting was followed by a Womenwise event and to say I was blown away by the day would be an understatement. It was extremely moving and inspirational. I am a new member to the committee and I feel very privileged to be working with some of Flight Centre Travel Groups most talented female senior leaders.


How does being a part of WomenWise help you as a leader?

Womenwise event

Being part of Womenwise reminds me of the importance of developing and nurturing our female talent, not only in Flight Centre but the entire industry. One of my favourite quotes is “Amazing things happen when women help women” by Kasia Gospos. I am in a fortunate position to be able to this as the Leader of Training and Development.


Why do you think other female leaders within Flight Centre should come along to a WomenWise event and join your community?

Womenwise 2

I know they will feel inspired and celebrated. Connecting to a tribe where you belong and are encouraged to make a difference to yourself and others is a pretty special thing.


What message would you share to a female who is entering the travel industry for the first time?

Womenwise event lunch

Back yourself from Day 1. Be authentic. Dare greatly, and make sure you surround yourself with a tribe that will help you achieve your goals.


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Written by Paul Chai, KarryOn contributor

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