Women’s Leadership Initiative

The Phocuswright Women's Leadership Initiative is an essential session for men and women interested in exploring what technology companies need to thrive in the future.

We'll look to the ecosystem of travel technology, innovation and distribution leadership to identify the skills and attributes most needed in the space. Grit? Teamwork? Creativity? Growth mindset? Advocates for internal initiatives share what they are doing to connect and encourage female advancement into leadership in their own companies and throughout the industry.
Let your voice be heard

Men and women in travel technology will gather at this essential session during The Phocuswright Conference. We’ll present results of our survey on how companies within the travel technology ecosystem stack up when it comes to promoting women’s leadership at the event. Results will also be posted on PhocusWire.

What is the purpose of this event?
This event provides a platform for companies who have implemented women's leadership initiatives to share them with others in the industry as Phocuswright LeadHERs. These selected LeadHERs share the details with a table of attendees and be available throughout the event to talk about those initiatives informally. In-line with our "culture of connection," this event is intended to facilitate networking and connection.

As an industry and community, we are committed to innovation, creative thinking and strong leadership. How are we positioned to grow into the future, ensuring that our best and brightest are at the helm?

The following sources bring some interesting context to the discussion:

  • According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology, having women in leadership positions is associated with better team dynamics, stronger financial performance and greater productivity.
  • Deloitte’s “Smashing IT’s Glass Ceiling” makes a business case for gender-diverse teams in technology, citing improved operational and financial performance, increased innovation and more.
  • According to the World Economic Forum’s “The Future of Jobs Report 2018,” by 2020 the most needed skills will be emotional intelligence, people management, complex problem-solving and critical thinking – skills frequently attributed to women.
  • “Women Matter: The business and economic case for gender diversity" by McKinsey & Co., reveals that companies with strong female representation on executive committees perform better than those without women in the c-suite.

What is the content?
During the event, we will unpack the results of our Women’s Leadership survey and discuss how travel technology compares and contrasts to other industries. Are the attributes and skills that companies seek globally across industries the same attributes and skills that the travel technology world is seeking? What are the differences? Are there specific initiatives to grow women's leadership?

What is the format?
After a short presentation framing the research, a panel of executives unpacks the findings with a moderator who will engage the audience and create micro-discussions throughout the breakfast.

How can I participate?

  • Please attend (more information on reserving your seat will be available mid-October)
  • Attend and bring a colleague
  • Tell people who are attending The Phocuswright Conference to attend and support this initiative
  • If you’re involved in a women’s leadership initiative: apply to be a LeadHER
  • Sponsor the event along with American Airlines

2018 Phocuswright LeadHER Mentors

  • Rhonda Sloan, Global Head of Travel Communications, AIG Travel
  • Alix Arguelles, Vice President, Online Travel Group, Amadeus
  • Anthony Rader , Manager Sales Strategy, American Airlines
  • Julia Pirrung, Founder, AXUS
  • Erika Sanchez, Head of Global Supply and Managing Director, CarRentals.com GmbH
  • Michelle Vincent, Industry Manager, Travel, Facebook
  • Seija Samoylenko, Business Development, Hopjump
  • Susan Billingsley, Vice President, Marketing, Intent Media Inc.
  • Christina Heggie, Investment Principal, Jetblue Ventures
  • Krista Pappas, Senior Vice President , Lola
  • Carol Hutzelman, Co-founder, Phocuswright
  • KP Phelan, CEO, Rome2rio
  • Traci Mercer, Senior Vice President, Global Lodging, Ground & Sea, Sabre Corporation
  • Sylvia Weiler, Vice President of Audiences, Sojern
  • Helen Enriquez, VP, Product Development, Technology Solutions
  • Jenn Lee, VP of Sales and Marketing, Travel Planners International
  • Cara Whitehill, Chief Commercial Officer, Traxo
  • LouAnn Daggs Carter, Global Director, Strategic Initiatives, TripAdvisor

2018 Phocuswright LeadHER Panelists

  • Dorothy Dowling, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Best Western Hotels & Resorts
  • Eva Jenner, Vice President, Sales, Holland America Line and Seabourn
  • Erika Moore, VP and GM, US Sales, Travelport
  • Siew Hoon Yeoh, Founder, WIT and Editorial Director, Northstar Travel Group Asia

2018 Session Moderator

  • Mary Pat Sullivan, Founder, Sullivan Marketing Associates
Apply to be a Phocuswright LeadHER mentor