Jumping on board with the Women in Travel Awards was a no-brainer for Ali Diaper, the head of travel marketing for Australia and New Zealand at nib.
She’s been an advocate for the event since it started back in 2016. nib was one of the original sponsors and she’s closely followed the awards since then “watching them grow,” as she put it.
Since COVID her motivation to get behind the event grew even stronger.
“I’ve got a bigger, stronger ambition to rebuild, not just our company which is very advanced, but also the industry as a whole,” Diaper told Travel Weekly.
She says NIB doesn’t just talk the talk. It practices everything it preaches when it comes to diverse and inclusive workplaces.
“I think we’re pretty lucky. When it comes to elevating female staff, we’ve got a stronger focus on diversity, equity and inclusion across the board. We support our employees, but it’s not just about gender diversity, it’s also about all sorts of diversity.
“I think that’s what the people bring to work every day and what builds our business.
“We’re looking for a successful business based on the people being able to be themselves in the workplace,” she said.
Given her championing of the cause, Diaper is well-placed to highlight where the industry can make progress, too.
“I think there’s probably quite a bit of room for progression in the industry, specifically in leadership and education.” Two areas she says NIB excels at.
“We start with ‘what are our staff thinking?’. We use regular employee survey results to sense check how we’re going as a business around respect and authenticity, reaching our potential for people to come to work and feel valued,” she said.
“Also, do they feel like they can share their points of view openly in the workplace? We scored highly in all of these areas, so we’re really proud of that.”
“We have a great strategic plan around diversity, equity and inclusion in the training space, I’ve sat with more than 300 leaders in our business to work through how we mitigate unconscious bias as an organisation.
“When it comes to marketing, I’ve got more of a willingness to support and increase the focus around visual representation, especially in imagery and in advertising and branding.
“I’m hoping that more people will start to think about that. And as an industry, we’ll start to see an obvious move away from those outdated advertising stereotypes.”
Staff at nib can also seek education through a mentor programme.
“You can put your hand up and be assigned a mentor in your same sort of area. They might come at what you’re doing from a very different perspective, and help coach you through to the next level of your role,” Diaper said.
“We continue to promote and hire women into leadership roles. We have 60 per cent female representation in our leadership positions at nib.
Diaper says all of these things are part of what makes her so proud to work for nib.
“We’re striving to be recognised as an employer of choice for gender equality.
“I look around the business and I think about the steps we’re putting in place for the future, it makes me very confident.
“I’m in marketing, but we work with the emerging tech team and the data teams who are looking to really embed diversity, equity and inclusion into everything we do,” she said.
It’s clear, even from the brief chat we had with Ali, that she is exceptionally passionate about women working in the travel industry. As well as being a sponsor, Ali is nominated in the Marketer of the Year category at this year’s Women in Travel Awards.
Big thanks to all of our incredible sponsors for this year’s awards!