Key Takeaways from the webinar: Women in Leadership: Breaking Barriers in the Tourism Industry

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<span>Key Takeaways from the webinar: Women in Leadership: Breaking Barriers in the Tourism Industry </span>
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Gretchen Hall reflects on Simpleview's recent webinar for Women's History Month, titled "Women in Leadership: Breaking Barriers in the Tourism Industry.

Reflecting on Simpleview's recent webinar for Women's History Month, titled "Women in Leadership: Breaking Barriers in the Tourism Industry," I am filled with a profound sense of gratitude and inspiration. Moderated by Cara Frank, Chief of Staff at Simpleview, and joined by esteemed leaders—Amanda Lumley, Chief Executive at Destination Plymouth; Kathryn Davis, Managing Director at Visit West; and Angie Briggs, Vice President of Industry Relations at U.S. Travel Association—we delved into the core of female leadership within the travel and tourism sector. Through our unique journeys, we shared insights into overcoming barriers, fostering inclusivity, and building resilience, guided by influential quotes that resonated deeply with our personal and professional philosophies.

My Quote: Fight for the things that you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you. —Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Amanda’s Quote – The only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work hard for them. – Michelle Obama

Kathryn’s Quote – I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou

Angie’s Quote – Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence. – Sheryl Sandberg

My chosen quote from Ruth Bader Ginsburg serves as a cornerstone for my reflections on leadership. The quotes selected by the panel beautifully aligned, emphasizing the importance of fighting passionately for what we believe in, reaching for our dreams with tenacity, leaving a lasting impact on those we encounter, and enhancing the lives of others through our leadership.

Drawing from my experiences and the wisdom shared during the webinar, I offer several takeaways for emerging and established female leaders alike. First, the journey of leadership is enriched by the challenges we overcome and the growth we experience along the way. Embrace these challenges as opportunities to strengthen your resolve and expand your capabilities.

Mentorship plays a pivotal role in this journey. It is multidirectional; we learn as much from those we guide as from those who guide us, underscoring the value of diverse perspectives in enriching our professional journeys. Throughout my career, I have found invaluable lessons in both formal and informal settings. From observing the patience and diplomacy of a veteran receptionist to engaging in candid discussions with colleagues, these experiences have taught me the importance of humility, professionalism, and the power of positive influence.

The webinar deeply reinforced my belief in the power of community, highlighting how the encouragement and insights we share among peers are truly invaluable. It's crucial to build your network of supportive individuals, seek out mentors who can offer perspective, and immerse yourself in a community that not only affirms your strengths but also propels you forward both professionally and intellectually.

Furthermore, leadership involves championing others, especially in environments where self-advocacy can be challenging. It is crucial to recognize and celebrate the achievements of our peers, nominate them for awards, and support their advancement. This not only elevates the individual but also strengthens the collective fabric of our organizations and industries.

In closing, the webinar reminded us of the imperative to lead with empathy, vision, and an unwavering commitment to inclusivity. As we forge ahead, let us remember that our actions and words have the power to inspire the next generation of female leaders. Let's commit to being mentors, advocates, and trailblazers who not only reach for the top but lift others as we climb.

This experience has reinforced my belief in the transformative power of collective wisdom and the importance of creating spaces where female leaders can share, learn, and grow together. As we continue to navigate the complexities of the tourism industry, let's hold fast to the principle that together, we can break barriers and pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable future.

This webinar was not just a reflection on women's history but a beacon for the future of female leadership in tourism and beyond. While we specifically discussed female leadership, the insights and takeaways should be universally applied to all underrepresented communities, promoting a broader vision of inclusivity and empowerment across the board.

If you’re interested in watching the webinar, click here.

About The Author

Gretchen Hall

Chief Operating Officer
Destinations International

With over 20 years of experience in the travel industry, Gretchen has a proven track record of strong leadership, sustainable growth, innovative strategy and delivering results. She is a respected leader holding positions on various travel industry association boards and committees. Prior to joining Destinations International, Gretchen worked at the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) and in the sports industry; developing and managing youth basketball tournaments across the US.

During her tenure at LRCVB, Gretchen provided leadership with several signature developments including the Grand Opening of the Clinton Presidential Center, the 50th Anniversary of the integration of Little Rock Central High School which including the opening of a new National Parks museum and managing the $70 million renovation and expansion of Robinson Performance Hall and Conference Center. As Chief Operating Officer, Gretchen is responsible for the strategic development, implementation, communication and retention of global membership and partner initiatives for Destinations International.

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