Looking for inspiration to help you on your way to travel industry awesomeness? Contiki Managing Director, Katrina Barry share her seven inspiring life insights for women in travel.
1. Learn to tame your gremlins
What are these gremlins?
As women, we tend to have that little voice in our heads feeding us negative comments,
“Everyone in the room is smarter than me, I got lucky getting my job…”
It’s called, impostor syndrome. Research shows that women suffer from this affliction more than men.
The only ones who think we are impostors are ourselves, so if you want to progress to whatever role/level/job, then you need to turn off the inner critic, thank your gremlin for their contribution and then banish them and remember, you aren’t the only one who feels like this.
2. Don’t be afraid to be bold
One of the key challenges anyone faces in their career is reinventing themselves – this is true for men and women, but women are statistically more risk adverse and less forthright.
Barry recollects the time she was living in London and offered a great career change – to rural South Africa to work on a coal mine for nine months, to shut it down and turn it around.
“I thought – now that is crazy, I wear high heels, not high viz. But the more I thought about it I realised that, whilst it was a challenge, it would be a worthwhile one.”
So she made the move and now credits it as one of her most valuable and professional experiences,
“Your management approach really gets put in perspective when the key item at your board meeting is not the dollars the business is bleeding, but how many of your staff will die from AIDS this quarter.”
“For me I believe you get paid two ways in life; with experience and with money. Aim for the former, make bold choices and your career will benefit from it.”
3. Sometimes… Ignore the advice
Feedback is a gift they say, and Barry mentions, “What shaped who I am as a leader the most, is 360 feedback – the good and the bad, and sometimes the brutal.”
Sometimes, we all receive feedback that just doesn’t serve a purpose.
For females, it tends to reflect traditional gender values and stereotypes like whether they’re, ‘too nice’, or ‘too direct’, or “wearing too much or too little make up!”
So Barry’s advice – “Ignore this kind of advice, it will not serve you.”
4. Rise by lifting others
The sad fact is women often bring other women down.
Is it because there is a perceived scarcity of opportunities for women in leadership that women feel the need to compete?
Is it because females are more sensitive naturally? Or is it jealousy?
We don’t know the answer… but we can all agree – women need to support, encourage and champion each other if we are to address the leadership gap.
“We as women need to rise by lifting other and for me that’s about ensuring we have robust training and development, mentoring programs, flexible work practices and above all encouraging women to apply – even when they don’t think they can do the jobs.”
5. Be authentic
“My key value as a leader is authenticity and I’ve learnt to bring all of me to work – honest, strong opinions and all. We need to encourage all women to do the same.
We are all most impactful and most powerful when we are unapologetically who we are – I believe it’s this authenticity that will breaks down barriers for all.”
6. Do something this year you’ll remember forever
In 1968, women arguing for equality demonstrated at the Miss America pageant by burning their bras.
In 1970, Australian women finally didn’t have to resign from their full-time jobs when they got married.
Those were memorable years.
So what will you do this year that you will remember forever….what will you do for yourself.
And what will you do for women in travel? Are you doing enough? How will you help drive your progress and the progress of women?
What will you do in 2017 that you'll remember forever?
Posted by Contiki on Tuesday, January 10, 2017
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