Women in Travel Thrive: A Networking and Leadership Resource

Founded in response to the career challenges of Covid, Women in Travel Thrive is a robust resource for professional development.

Meeting professionals know that breaking through the glass ceiling continues to be an uphill battle—and the pandemic has posed even more challenges. Addressing these challenges by providing free networking and mentoring resources for women in the travel industry was the motivating force behind the founding of Women in Travel Thrive in late 2020.

“Women in Travel Thrive exists to increase women’s representation in travel leadership,” said executive director and founding chair Silvia Camarota, in an interview with Prevue. PhocusWire recently published a report that found less than 15% of the top 350 travel and technology companies are led by a woman. And we see data like this all the time, in travel and beyond, that reinforces the tremendous opportunity we have to increase the representation of women in leadership roles.” Camarota, senior director, North America Market Management, Lodging, at Expedia, is among Thrive’s 20 founders, representing some of the industry’s top travel brands, who are committed to mentoring women in the travel industry.

The Thrive website has various career resources. Users can click on categories that include Empowerment Bundles, with options such as sessions with a career coach, and a Match Network for connecting with an ally in travel each month. There’s a link to join a Slack community, a link to volunteer as a mentor, and links to other opportunities for professionals in the travel industry to get involved on every level.

Thrive also offers virtual events, including Day of Impact conferences. At the most recent, in June 2021, sessions ranged from Allyship: why top men in the travel industry are becoming allies to women in travel; to How to be a Badass at Life and Work. “We were thrilled to welcome several hundred attendees to our June 2021 Day of Impact Event,” said Camarota. “To be able to offer such a robust series of free professional development events and networking opportunities at this scale truly underscored the importance of our mission to help women throughout the travel industry accelerate their career growth and achieve their goals. We were also pleased to welcome male allies as speakers and attendees at this event. Growing our allyship across the travel industry remains a focus as we strive for a more inclusive and equitable industry.”

A third annual Day of Impact will be offered this summer, details to be determined. As well, Women in Travel Thrive will attend and exhibit at travel industry conferences this year, celebrate International Women’s Day with a second annual Run for HER, and continue to maintain a robust digital network, said Camarota. “Our goal is to remove some (and eventually all!) of the barriers that exist for women to take their seat at the table. The economic research shows that when more women lead and when we embrace diversity, equity and inclusion, businesses, industries, families and communities all thrive.”

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