Breaking into the Boys Club
Recent generations of women have made a lot of headway in disrupting the ‘old boys club’ given that traditional parenting roles are more evenly split than in the past and the increased awareness of the gender pay gap. Despite this, we still have a long way to go as women continue to face challenges in the corporate world, and the full-time average weekly ordinary earnings for women are still 13.4% less than for men.*
Throughout it’s nearly 40 years of business, Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) has always championed women and in 2015 established Womenwise Global. The initiative was formed by a group of FCTG’s senior female leaders with a goal of inspiring all women by showcasing opportunity, providing role models and offering structured support to create gender balance in all leadership teams across the company, worldwide.
WOMENWISE GLOBAL: Our aim is to inspire women across the FCTG Network
FCTG’s global workforce is 75% female and we have a network of strong, fierce women leading our businesses around the world.
Womenwise recognises the achievements of women through, what it calls, ‘The 4 C’s’: Celebrate, Connect, Collaborate, and Create Change.
To read more about Womenwise, visit the website: https://womenwiseglobal.com/about
Flight Centre Business Travel is proud to be part of an organisation which has always celebrated gender equality and a culture of inclusivity. In honour of International Women’s Day, we sought out some of the women in the brand’s senior leadership team for their thoughts on thriving in the once male-dominated world of business.
We asked them all one question, and there are definitely some common themes to which we think many women in business will relate.
"If you could give your younger self one piece of advice for succeeding in business as a woman,
what would it be?"
Kim Hamilton - Key Account Manager, FCBT (pictured)
“Believe in what you do and do what you love. If I could tell my younger self one thing it would be to never doubt yourself or your abilities, we all have something within us that can set us apart. No matter your upbringing, gender or surroundings, if you have the belief that you can achieve success, you will give yourself the greatest chance to succeed and excel."
Rhiana Stickings - Senior Analyst, FCBT
“My advice would be to simply “back yourself”... you’ve got a voice so speak with confidence, you’ve got instincts so trust them, you’ve got thoughts and aspirations so follow them. Back your own choices and decisions, and have confidence in yourself - it will lead you to places others will dream of."
Eliza Dixon -National Commercial Leader, FCBT
“My one piece of advice - Don't be afraid to fail and don't be in such a hurry to accomplish those career milestones. Enjoy every step of the process, challenge yourself everyday and soak up as much knowledge as you can from those around you. Do all that and you will achieve every goal you set out to achieve."
Andrea Harris - National Marketing Manager, FCBT (pictured)
“Embrace failure. Yes it's tough when it happens but don't beat yourself up about it. Brush yourself off and learn from it. You will soon realise, no-one has all the answers!
Love what you do and don't overstay your welcome in a company or a job that doesn't bring you joy. Be brave and put yourself out there - the 'glass ceiling' doesn't exist in all companies. Believe in yourself more to avoid any regret of not reaching your true potential. “
Candice Marsh -National Operations Leader, FCBT
"The secret to success and breaking through is leading compassionately - we're all human and want connectedness. It’s also ok to speak up..I would encourage everyone (not just women) to do this as much as possible BUT make sure you are solution focused. If there is a problem, come with a solution to fix it don’t just bring the problem.
As a leader have an end goal and take people on the journey with you by being kind, listening and creating a shared vision. I would tell my younger self, and other young aspiring women, to remember that perfection is not an actual thing. There is no such thing as 'perfect', no one is 'perfect' and we all make mistakes, so don’t beat yourself up. Back your abilities, believe in yourself, and if a great opportunities comes knocking; give it a red hot crack!"
Kristen Whitson -Assistant Operations Leader, FCBT Nth QLD + NT (pictured)
“When one door closes, somewhere another opens, if recents times tells us anything this is definitely true. Oh, and be true to yourself no matter what, Just be You!!”
Marina Wood -National Customer Experience Leader, FCBT
“Be courageous and get out of your comfort zone. It’s ok to speak your mind in meetings and ask questions about things you don't know or understand; challenge ideas that you don't agree with.
Volunteer to be involved with projects even if you don't have all the answers - you learn so much on the job if you open your ears and ask questions. Aim high and apply for the roles you want - even if your current skill set doesn't tick every box. No one is perfect, and if you already know everything that a role is asking of you, perhaps you're aiming too low! “
Sharmin Lubonski - Assistant Operations Leader, FCBT Sydney + NSW South
“Stop trying to be the 'good girl' or be polite and not go for the things you want. As young women we are often given the complement of 'you're a good girl' when we act polite and aren't too loud/dress right. Boys on the other hand aren't complimented that way, they are told to be brave, to be tough, to go for it.
That would be my advice to my younger self, don't worry about being polite or being nice and therefore get passed over for opportunities. Be loud, be clear, be brave, be kind. We are beyond 'good girl', you can be good AND be ambitious AND be feminine all at once and go for opportunities and promotions that may seem out of your reach, because that boy next to you? He sure as hell is!"
* Statistics sourced from: https://www.wgea.gov.au/publications/gender-workplace-statistics-at-a-glance-2020
For more information on Flight Centre Travel Groups Diversity Policy visit our website: https://www.fctgl.com/investors/governance/diversity-policy-2/