The Flight Centre Travel Group has always been a strong advocate for women and one of the few industries to employ more women than men.
This Women’s Month, some of the Flight Centre Travel Group’s women got together to share wisdom, thoughts and where they’re at as the company, and industry, navigates its toughest challenge yet.
Support each other
Sue Garrett, General Manager Marketing and Product at the Flight Centre Travel Group was only 27 years old when she took on her first senior executive role in a very male-dominated executive environment.
“This time is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of all women and the part we play in the world today,” says Garrett. “Whether these roles are in the social, political, cultural, or the economic sphere, we are all responsible for the acceleration and acceptance of gender equality. In times like this, as we contemplate life in our new normal, I encourage all women to support each other to ensure we shape the world for every young girl to thrive and prosper in."
What have you learnt being one of the 70% women that make up the local travel and tourism industry?
Mummy Mafojane, FCM Travel Solutions Operations Leader says, on being one of the 70% of women that make up the local travel and tourism industry: “It is important to grow and support one another, especially in such difficult times. When women uplift each other, it benefits not only the industry but the nation as a whole.”
What does Women’s Month mean to you?
“The role of a woman can never be underplayed, says Megan Vorster, Peopleworks General Manager Flight Centre Travel Group. “The career woman, the entrepreneur, the mom, the stay at home mom, the married, the unmarried, the sister, the niece and all of us that play multiple roles. It’s a reminder that we can do anything we set our minds to, without limitations.”
“Women’s Day is a day to celebrate how the women in history have had to stand up for what we believe in. It’s a reminder of the liberation we have in today's world,” adds Melanie Walljee, Systems and Implementation Manager FCM Travel Solutions.
What have you learnt as a woman in travel through this pandemic?
“Through this pandemic, women in the tourism industry have been negatively impacted due to loss of jobs or salary cuts. What I have learnt is to make the time for family and never take them for granted,” says Bianca Mazur, Flight Centre General Manager. “Having a balance in your career is important and by having to spend time with my son to assist in the new way of online schooling has had a positive impact on the mother-son bond.
Tourism is important and contributes to the South African GDP. As we stand together, we will overcome this as we have overcome previous challenges in the industry. Even though this has been the hardest and the longest struggle, if we are united we will conquer this.”
What encouragement would you like to give women in travel and tourism?
To all the women in travel and tourism - stay strong for this too shall pass. If you find that your strength is wavering and you are overwhelmed, don't be afraid to ask for help - any kind of help,” says Prashanta Papia, Business Leader – Leisure Technology.
“This is a day to remember how all women deserve respect and appreciation for the contribution and value they give. Women in travel and tourism, never think that you are not good enough. We are providers.” Emma Fletcher, Flight Centre Associates
“That we will keep on fighting, keep on supporting and keep on finding ways to be stronger than yesterday. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up and never give up. Tough times don't last but tough people (women) do!” Mariaan van de Venter, Operations Leader Flight Centre Associates (FCA).