Destinations

Women in Travel: Sarah Anderson, GTI Tourism

We chat to Sarah Anderson, Managing Director, GTI Tourism about working in PR, why failing is ok and the importance of workplace flexibility, in conjunction with Travel Weekly’s inaugural Women in Travel Awards in November.

I got my start in travel as an overly confident 21-year old, when I was offered the opportunity to set up an in-house PR department at The Travel Corporation. The CEOs at the time, Mike Ness and John Weeks, took a chance on me. It was a huge opportunity and a sink or swim scenario.

We have plenty of incredible women working in the travel industry. It’s a fun industry and I think women enjoy the collaborative working environment it provides.

Like most sectors, travel still has a way to go to improve in gender terms. It is still very challenging for women who want to combine a high achieving career with raising a family. I’ve seen many female colleagues faced with tough decisions because workplace flexibility has not existed.

I encourage my team to take the leap and have the confidence to try new things – sometimes you’ll fail but mostly you won’t.

A failure is usually the best learning experience you’ll ever have.

I’m a collaborative leader and I believe leaders should encourage authenticity and create an environment where people’s different personalities and quirks can shine through. Organisations like Facebook have done a great job trailblazing so that not everyone needs to fit the cookie cutter mould.

A can-do attitude goes a long way too. Putting yourself outside your comfort zone is the best way to grow and learn. I try to encourage people to take risks while giving them a safety net to fall back on.

I also think it’s important to know your limits and not burn out. Hard work generally pays off but we only get one life so we should enjoy it.

Travel Weekly are proud to present the Women in Travel Awards in Sydney on 17 November, and are calling on women from any level across the industry to enter.

You don’t have to be nominated to enter, it’s open to all women at any level, and entries are FREE.

Or, if you know or work with any exceptional Women in Travel, be proactive and acknowledge excellence in their field by nominating them to enter by emailing nominations@womenintravel.com.au be sure to include the nominees email address, and what category you are nominating them for.

The 18 categories are NOW OPEN and individuals can enter in more than one category.

Winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony on 17 November in Sydney. Earlybird tickets are on sale.

Read last week’s Women in Travel interview with Ponant’s Sarina Bratton.

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