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BUSINESS ADVICE EVERYWOMAN


working at a fast pace. When the business went into compulsory liquidation, it really was the biggest test of resilience and I feel proud of how our company culture and values shone through.


What are some of the challenges young women face in business? Confidence can be a huge challenge – to take on new projects, apply for a promotion or even submit an application for a dream role. There’s so much work that has been done on diversity and inclusion to support women in the workplace, but there’s still a long way to go.


How can they be overcome? Believe in your ability and push yourself to take on challenges, like saying yes to something that scares you, such as presenting in front of a large group of people. Being self-aware and really understanding and articulating your strengths and development areas can help. I’ve had some very supportive and inspirational managers and mentors in my career – both male and female – and they’ve been instrumental in helping my confidence.


LISA HENNING Chief operating officer at The Travel Network Group, winner of the Leader of Change Award What does it mean to win this award? It has been one of the major highlights of my career. In what has been an incredible year of change for the industry, it’s an absolute privilege to win.


How have you been driving change at TTNG? Since joining the company in 2013, I have been central to much of the change the company has been though. I have seen many of the female members of my team grow in confidence and ability and, as a result, achieve promotions. The reward when a colleague realises they can achieve what they want is what I thrive on.


What are the biggest challenges facing women in business? Impostor syndrome – women have a tendency to doubt their accomplishments and self-worth. We need to stop being so hard on ourselves and believe in ourselves. We also need our male colleagues to encourage, welcome and embrace women in the workplace. It’s important that we continue to push for positions on senior boards.


ABOVE: The everywoman in Travel Awards winners 2019


POWER OF DISRUPTION


Deborah Potts, founding director of Summit Advisory, won the inaugural Disruptor Award


How are you challenging the status quo at Summit Advisory? The world of corporate finance is all too oſten unnecessarily shrouded in mystery. Having worked for major travel businesses and built my own, I strongly felt that SME travel business entrepreneurs deserved better when it comes to selling their business. Disruption comes in the way we take time to understand the DNA of each travel business, and in the way we identify and assess growth options available to companies preparing for exit.


How important do you think it is to be a disruptor in today’s business landscape? I oſten cite [management consultant] Peter Drucker’s quote: “Marketing and innovation produce results. All the rest are costs”. Innovation is oſten disruptive. Creative thought and the courage to question conventional wisdom lie behind many of the biggest business success stories. There is little defence against innovation. All businesses should seek to stay relevant.


What’s your advice to young women looking to make it in travel? It’s still a young but fast-growing industry, which needs talented people across many skill sets. Find a business to work for whose vision and ethos inspire you, and which invests in training. These tend to be growing firms. Once in, work hard, participate fully and make it clear you are keen to grow. And find a mentor.


13.01.2020 TRAVEL TRADE GAZETTE


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