Events

Women in Travel Awards winners’ circle: Elizabeth Hutchison, Air New Zealand

If you haven’t entered the Women in Travel Awards yet or nominated all the incredible women you work with, we’ve got good news for you!

Entries don’t close until Thursday 9 April at 5pm (AEST), so you still have some time up your sleeve.

Submit your entry now HERE and/or nominate one of your peers HERE. And for more information on the awards, click HERE.

HOWEVER! We strongly advise you don’t leave your application(s) until the last minute, as spruiking yourself can be a daunting task which can only be made worse under pressure.

To give you some inspiration to get cracking, we sat down with Elizabeth Hutchison, national account manager for TMC and corporate at Air New Zealand, and Salesperson of the Year at last year’s Women in Travel Awards.

Here’s what she had to say:

Travel Weekly: How has winning at last year’s Women in Travel Awards positively impacted your career

Elizabeth Hutchison: It was an honour to win at least year’s awards. I have since had the fortune to be promoted internally at Air New Zealand to the position of national account manager for corporate and given the opportunity to lead our Australian sustainability project group committee.

TW: What drew you to work in the travel industry? What makes it worthwhile?

EH: I dreamt of travelling since my first flight as a teenager and my goal was to work for an airline as soon as I left school, and was lucky to do so. What makes it worthwhile is that it’s a people industry and I have the opportunity to make meaningful connections every day.

TW: Have you noticed any changes in opportunities for women in the industry over the time that you’ve worked in?

EH: There are more women in senior positions from when I first started out, which is great for the younger women in our industry to see where you can take your career to.

TW: What are some of the challenges women face in today’s travel industry? How can they be overcome?

EH: I think we work in a very progressive industry. To help overcome any obstacles, it’s about providing opportunities for coaching and mentoring, women sharing their stories and ensuring voices are heard.

TW: Has your gender contributed to any challenges throughout your career?

EH: No, I have been fortunate working in the travel industry that my gender hasn’t been an obstacle in my career.

TW: What changes would you like to see in the industry to make it more inclusive for women and other minority groups?

EH: It’s important to support each other through more work flexibility, industry mentoring and networking programs, and taking time to celebrate achievements through events and awards such as the Women in Travel Awards.

TW: Do you think there needs to be more of an industry-wide push to get more females into senior roles?

EH: We are lucky to work in an industry which advocates and supports opportunity for all. I believe having a coach or mentor who can advocate for you can encourage females to see the opportunities that can be afforded to them.

TW: Why do you think events like the Women in Travel Awards need to continue occurring?

EH: It’s the opportunity to celebrate the success of women in our industry; to identify role models whilst keeping focus on the issues that are current today for women.

TW: What advice do you have for those wanting to enter this year’s awards?

EH: It is a fantastic opportunity to share your story and to support and recognise the contribution of women in our industry.

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