Wholesalers

Wendy Wu GM Steve Richards: “We have to fix the pay gap, it has to be closed”

Ali Coulton

It’s that time of year again!

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day, the day when we all shove our noggins together and come up with innovative ideas of how industries can improve key issues facing women from all walks of life.

It’s also a time for us to celebrate all the women around us kicking butt and getting stuff done.

If you can’t tell, we’re pretty damn excited.

So excited, we decided to have a chat with Wendy Wu GM Steve Richards to talk about all the problems faced by women in the travel industry.

He’s pretty excited about International Women’s day too, in fact, he thinks women play a crucial role in the industry.

“Women bring much more knowledge on non-verbal cues, empathy, and collaboration,” Richards said.

“This kind of diversity can bring a higher overall collective intelligence, better decision making and innovation.”

Australia’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency reports the gender pay gap is still at around 15 per cent, with men working full-time making an average of $257.70 more each week than a woman working full-time.

“There’s still pay gap issues out there, we’re seeing more women in leadership roles, that’s a positive outcome, but I don’t think the pay gap balances appropriately for those women that are climbing to those high positions in the travel industry,” Richards acknowledged.

“We’re all equally intelligent as each other and there’s no reason why men and women who’ve proven themselves in the same position can’t get the same pay.”

“So, you have to fix that pay gap and it has to be closed and it has to be better than it is.”

Richards also expressed his frustration with the way career-minded women are viewed in the workforce.

“What I find personally upsetting is this whole career mentality between males and females.”

“If a male is a career addict, its almost always praised and respected but it’s not so the case with females.”

“I don’t find that fair at all.”

“A female wants to be very career focused and driven to the point where she hasn’t had a family or something, it’s actually frowned upon by both genders.”

He also believes both men and women should be given more support and flexibility when it comes to family life.

“Why can’t there be more investment from the industry in childcare to the point where companies even buy into daycare facilities or set them up in our offices to offer more support?”

“By not providing more support there, we lose a lot of good quality women in this industry.”

And when asked about gender diversity in his own company, he couldn’t be more proud.

“I don’t think there’s a stronger gender diverse company than ours.”

“Our founder Wendy Wu herself is an entrepreneur and a game changer in the industry, she forged ahead when there were very few women able to do that, and is still a daily inspiration and motivation to our business.”

“She’s one of the smartest people I’ve met in my career and I see daily how much of an impact her success has on us, we’re 80 per cent female here, and 85 per cent female in the senior leadership team.

“Its all-female dominated senior leadership team, apart from myself. And it’s a successful team.”

“We’re doing really well, we’ve got double digit growth, so the diversity in gender in our company has proven very successful.”

And the travel industry in general?

“I think the industry’s done a great job, I think more than any other industry I can see in terms of gender diversity and growth and leadership opportunities for women.”

“But I still think there’s improvements to be made, definitely, I still think the pay gaps are there, the support isn’t there, and the discrimination on female career addicts is still across our industry.”


Do you have something to say on this? Get in touch with Travel Weekly Editors here to share your thoughts.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Destinations

The Amazon is on fire and tourism stands to lose because of it, Poon Tip warns

by Christian Fleetwood

The G Adventures founder has put out a warning to the travel industry about the devastation occurring in the Amazon.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

All the photos from the 2019 TravelManagers Gala Awards

Travel Weekly has finally managed to get its hands on all the pics from the 2019 TravelManagers Gala Awards for your viewing pleasure. You’re welcome.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Marriott employee arrested for threatening “mass casualty” shooting at hotel

A Marriott staffer’s planned mass shooting, which he told fellow employees about, has been foiled by local police thanks to the hotel’s general manager.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Joyce says Qantas will cut capacity on Hong Kong flights due to ongoing protests

by Christian Fleetwood

Qantas’ bookings to Hong Kong are down 10 per cent amid the ongoing pro-democracy protests, forcing the airline to cull capacity.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent wrap: Travellers Choice ramps up member mentoring, A&K hosts top agents at Connoisseur Club + MORE

It’s Friday, which means two things: Travel Weekly’s agent wrap has arrived, and our editor has already made his way to the pub.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airport worker fired for passing passenger rude note

Do you miss passing strange and confusing notes to your friends in high school? Click here to have your thirst quenched.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flavour of the Week: Branson-owned island’s new GM, fresh cruise BDMs + MORE

This edition of FOTW is filled with appointments of GMs, BDMs, and ECPs, FYI.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Tourists facing up to six years in jail for stealing sand

The couple was caught with 40 kilograms of sand, which they reportedly tried to pass off as a “souvenir”. Nice try, guys.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Virgin Australia helps Kiwi prank sister with small bearded man

The airline got in on a prank between two sisters that was 30 years in the making. Watch how it unfolded here.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Tourism

ONE WEEK TO GO: Entries to The Travel Awards 2019 closing soon!

There have already been reports of broken keyboards and mouses at several travel companies, such is the haste and urgency at which they’ve been submitting entries to The Travel Awards.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel wrap: Choice Asia-Pac’s new look, Accor Korea’s Sofitel in Seoul, Crown’s bad news + MORE!

Delightful, informative and neat around the edges – this is how to describe this week’s hotel wrap, and Travel Weekly’s reporter when he sucks in his love handles.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Webjet boss lauds “outstanding” FY19, as full-year profit jumps 45 per cent

by Huntley Mitchell

There’s a whole lot of jumping going on over at Webjet HQ today, both in a financial and celebratory sense.

Share

CommentComments