It was no surprise that Wendy Wu was not available in person to accept the title of the most powerful woman in the Australian travel industry earlier this week.
Since COVID, the tour operator has been on a tour of her own. Visiting the various parts of her business that continue to grow and flourish as the company successfully adapts to a post-pandemic world.
But, success for Wendy may look a little different to how others may define the word.
To me, it transcends not mere financial achievements. It’s about making a meaningful impact, not only in our beloved travel industry but even more so on the lives of those our industry serves,” Wu said.
“It involves quality, sustainable practices, fostering a work environment that encourages growth, inclusivity, passion, dedication and above all determination against all odds.
“True success is a journey of continuous improvement, where one’s accomplishments contribute to the greater good and inspire others to strive for excellence,” Wu told Dan Lake.
The imbalance between the number of women in the travel industry vs the number of women in positions of leadership is an issue Wendy is very aware of. That’s why, she says it’s so important to celebrate women who champion women whenever possible.
“Historically, and speaking very generally, women are used to playing the supporting role at home and to sacrificing their exciting careers for their husbands and children.
“So, women are used to supporting and making a contribution, with less demand for recognition and reward. It’s a ‘Catch 22’ as there are many very talented women who unfortunately miss the opportunity for a top role,” she said.
Despite the challenges, Wu says being a woman has never stopped her from achieving, that that’s largely due to the types of people she chooses to work with.
“I think it is an advantage as there are very capable men who are more willing to work with me as an ‘ego-free’ female,’ Wu said.