A couple of years ago, Melissa Karlin of Travel Age West highlighted how women made up the majority of the travel industry’s workforce. In the same article, the writer also pointed out that there are nearly twice as many women working in the tourism sector compared to other industries like manufacturing and technology.
These days, more and more women have become empowered and have taken the necessary initiatives to be ahead of the curve. Yes, there are still issues about gender inequality – especially in the workforce – as well as other pressing concerns, but in more ways, these are steps in the right direction in terms of recognising females. As a matter of fact, Catalyst claims that women’s growth in management positions increased, albeit at a slower pace.
In general, it’s safe to say that the majority of women today are go-getters and are debunking stereotypes every day. The Scene published a short feature on Forbes 400’s Richest Women in America, while Go Overseas enumerated 14 female-founded companies that changed the travel industry. Thus, we shouldn’t be surprised by the sheer amount of female role models, considering that the tourism sector has been a vehicle towards quite a few life-altering experiences.
Empowering women through travel isn’t a mere slogan as it has opened new doors to the world and, more importantly, within themselves. It teaches everyone – regardless of gender, age, and social status – to see, feel, and, above all, live. Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert went through a similar ordeal and in the end, came out on top.
While travelling to different countries, we get first-hand experience of what it’s like to live in the midst of hardships and poverty. We get a renewed sense of appreciation for what we have, thus helping us to see the world differently, and feel what others feel on a regular basis. Michelle Lee founded Women in Travel (Winit) as a way to provide greater resources for females in the industry. The 3,000-member organisation aims to present more opportunities for women, and men, to see the world through a distinct set of eyes.
Let’s face it: Being a solo travelling female will sometimes require us to do things that scare us. The fact that we’re going to new places and meeting new people alone can be quite scary. With this, we’ll be forced to face our fears head on, which in turn, strengthens our characters, knowing that we can do anything we set our mind to. This same principle inspired Trip Advisor Chief Marketing Office, Christine Petersen, to develop the website in such a way that it highlights actual experiences from actual travellers. Today, the website is one of the most reliable sources of information for all types of wanderers.
As mentioned, travel teaches us how to live and see the world through a different set of eyes. Many of our plans may not always pan out the way we want, which is fine. What’s important is that we learn how to adjust and – as cliché as it may sound – expect the unexpected when travelling. Part of this also involves the happy memories we’ll create when meeting new friends and/or acquaintances, and doing things we don’t usually do.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man, young or old, as long as you’re open to the similarities and differences of the people you meet along the way, you will savour every benefit of travelling. Who knows, maybe you can find your niche in the travel industry, similar to how the aforementioned women discovered theirs.