Events

Women in Travel Awards winners’ circle: Frith Hudson Graham, GirlsTrek

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 Frith Hudson Graham, founder of GirlsTreck and Entrepreneur 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?

Firth Hudson Graham: Entrepreneurs are at risk of feeling very lonely. The very nature of what we do is to challenge the status quo and step out into the abyss to back ourselves into business with our unique stamp.

Winning an industry award was an unexpected and affirming ‘pat on the back’. Even a small glimmer of recognition to an Entrepreneur is enough fuel to keep us going for years!

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

FHG: We have a passion to help women everywhere to take a chance on themselves. To fill up their souls while exercising their legs. The best way to deliver that experience is in a travel environment where you are exploring a new area and immersing yourself in nature.

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

FHG: Travel is an industry that really suits women. Women have a propensity for empathy and listening and that enables them to curate magical experiences for their clients. Women open their own doors through communication and their cohesive approach to leadership and relationships.

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

FHG: I don’t see challenges, I only see opportunities and problems to solve. Whatever your dream is for business or in life, it will never come to you in a big package. It’s the little steps you take every day that will get you there.

You have to work at passion in miniature of life – every hour, every day and then your ideas become a concept and a concept a business and then a business a vehicle for social and economic change.

TW: Has your gender contributed to any challenges throughout your career? If so, how have you overcome them?

FHG: The great challenge of my gender has been telling myself I am not good enough. Women are so quick to downgrade the importance of their thoughts and ideas and their ability to act on them.

With my business being solely focused on women in travel, as clients, as suppliers, as my team, I see this cropping up all the time. I see it as a global female challenge. The great news is we are getting so much better at believing in ourselves!

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

FHG: This is a hard one for me to answer. My belief is the “we make the change you wish to see”.

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

FHG: Yes. The female archetype represents great hope. The process-oriented view of the feminine can provide a pathway to a co-creative future with mother nature (in the case of my work) and community. The fundamental differences in the way we lead (to men) can only bring positive change.

TW: What policies and initiatives does GirlsTrek have in place to promote diversity and attract and foster female talent?

FHG: We are a female-only business. We employ only females, our clients are female and where possible our suppliers are female-led businesses.

We can not always achieve 100 per cent female with suppliers and contractors and we do love men and having them around! We are in the process of building a worldwide web of female delivered experiences in nature so we are promoting and fostering female talent every day.

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

FHG: Women are not great at putting themselves out there in the limelight. The Women in Travel Awards shines that light for them. It is a supportive and important Awards.

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

FHG: At first the application can seem so daunting and you are thinking to yourself, ‘I have nothing to write’. Get that thought out of your head! What you are doing is amazing, brave, unique and important. Make a start, put words on paper and tell your story. It’s a great story.

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