International Women’s Day: empowering women everywhere

The Travel Corporation (TTC) has women empowerment programmes that touch not only its workforce but also the communities it interacts with through its tourism and hospitality business.

Within the company, TTC walks the talk on gender parity by having 50 per cent of leadership roles held by women, and 56 per cent of the overall organisation workforce filled by women.

TTC’s Trafalgar and Insight Vacations tour brands offer programmes designed for female travellers and that showcase women-led businesses in the destination

“The company’s commitment is reflected in our How We Tread Right (HWTR) strategy and aligns with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (UNSDG) on gender equality, established in 2015,” stated Annaliesa Chapman, senior vice president, people and culture.

TTC’s gender parity efforts in Asia-Pacific takes the form of the I.D.E.A initiative – Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Action – which includes a Women’s Identity Circle. The Women’s Identity Circle acts as an inclusive and supportive community for Women of TTC and allies, and its overarching strategy includes cultivating a supportive and welcoming environment, targeted recruitment, and maintaining a balance in diverse executive leadership.

I.D.E.A has hosted seminars where TTC’s female leaders from all levels come together to share career experiences and lead open discussions on a wide range of topics, such as salary negotiations, issues around maternity and preparations for the next role.

“The goal of these initiatives is connecting internal peer, which fosters future connections to leadership opportunities,” said Chapman, who added that I.D.E.A will roll out even more interactions and events to “educate leaders on unconscious bias and how it impacts our global workforce, and to challenge the status quo of women in the workplace”.

The TTC Women’s Mentorship Programme is also set to launch this year.

Chapman emphasised that empowering female leadership can benefit the entire organisation.

She said: “Inclusivity, high-performance and business success work in tandem. When an organisation creates a diverse and inclusive environment, and is focused on equity, an increase in retention, collaboration, innovation, and profits follow across the business.

“Showcasing a diverse perspective internally – age, ethnicity, or gender identity – connects us better with our external guests. This is especially relevant for the travel and hospitality industry, which enables people to experience different cultures and walks of life.

“We recognised that the passion and collaborative spirit of the women of TTC is a key to the ongoing success of the organisation. These qualities positively influence the development and future growth of our global partnerships.”

TTC’s gender parity beliefs extend beyond the company, as seen in its support of women-owned businesses through its tourism brands and product lines.

Trafalgar recently launched a new Women’s Only Tours series, which showcases locally-female run businesses in the destination. These join the existing Wander Women tours offered by Insight Vacations, which are curated by an-all female team and seek to introduce travellers to successful women in destinations around the world.

“Women can inspire and uplift each other. Our aim is to celebrate women’s successes in their communities, be they small or large, through shared experiences,” Chapman told TTG Asia.

These efforts are also aligned with TTC’s HWTR strategy and the UNSDG on gender equality.

“Our guests can choose to participate in experiences aligned with the UNSDG and actively seek out travel designed to make a positive impact. When guests join us on trips that aligned with the UNSDG, they are helping us to prioritise community-based enterprises — from supporting women-owned businesses, experiencing unique farm stays that utilise regenerative agriculture practices, or learning about ancient cultures that carry on their traditions by sharing their stories with others,” she said.

Besides supporting women empowerment through tourist experiences, the company also works with organisations to benefit the wider community. An example is its collaboration with The Amy Foundation, a non-profit in the Western Cape region of South Africa that offers development and empowerment programmes for people aged five to 35 living in at-risk communities. The Youth Skills Development programme imparts life skills to children and young adults to prepare them for employment and day-to-day living.

This story is part of an International Women’s Day series published by TTG Asia and TTGmice, where we highlight organisations in our industry that are committed to supporting gender parity in the workplace and beyond as well as uplifting the quality of life for womenfolk in the communities they interact with through their operations.

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