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BUSINESS ADVICE EVERYWOMAN


PAVING THE WAY


From championing diversity to fostering talent, the everywoman in Travel Awards winners have bold ambitions for businesswomen. Abra Dunsby hears from four of the pioneers


JEAN COOK Depot administrator at Great Western Railway, winner of the Above & Beyond Award How have you been instrumental in driving change at Great Western Railway? I was one of the inaugural members of the first GWR Inclusion Action Group. In the first month, I was asked to represent GWR for then Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, for the Bame Challenge: to raise the profile of bame professionals in the workplace and create an online portal to help employers look at how they were attracting, recruiting, developing and retaining bame individuals. At GWR I have facilitated setting up staff networks including Women in Rail, GWR Bame,


44 TRAVEL TRADE GAZETTE 13.01.2020


Aspect (LGBQT+), GWR Christian and a new Wellbeing network tackling subjects such as mental health.


How are you championing diversity in the workplace? By stepping outside my comfort zone and trying to be that intersectional role model. It has been an interesting, scary but enjoyable experience. Challenging certain obstacles and possible biases in people’s minds, and encouraging alliances across our networks has seen a growth in awareness, whether that is around gender or mental health wellbeing.


What are the biggest challenges facing women from black and minority ethnic backgrounds in business? For me, and from what I have heard


from black friends and colleagues, sadly it’s that cliche of being the best at what you do, but getting overlooked for promotion constantly, while someone with lesser “colour” and ability thrives. This can only be that in business, at certain levels “we” are not the norm, so a bias kicks in. Pushing through those barriers and bringing other women of colour with you, while educating the biased, is the way forward.


HAYLEY GODDARD Talent acquisition manager (EMEA) at Expedia Group, winner of Tomorrow’s Leader Award What did you learn from your time at Thomas Cook? I learnt that I enjoy being involved in transformation and change and love


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