It is well known that in many industries, women do not enjoy equal opportunities for executive roles, equal pay or even equal opportunities for employment in general.
While the travel industry still has a long way to go before women are equally represented in its executive branches, travel has enjoyed decades of being a female-centric industry, something that sets itself apart from many others.
From travel advisors to hotel workers to those buying trips for their friends and families, women have enjoyed uniquely pivotal roles in the travel industry.
Need some proof?
According to data published in 2019 by the World Travel and Tourism Council, women represent 54 percent of the 334 million travel and tourism industry workers, which is above the average representation of women contributing to the overall economies of many countries.
In the US, women make up about the same amount in the travel and tourism industry as they do in the country’s overall economy, about 46.4 percent versus 46.9 percent, though countries such as Mexico, South Africa and South Korea have seen more women employed in their travels. industries than the average percentage of women employed in their overall economies.
But it’s not just about employment – women are also the ones booking and planning trips for people.
Travel advisors within the US and Canada are predominantly women, making up about 84 percent of all travel advisors in these two countries. Advisor conferences, webinars and other events are often indicative of this, with women making up the vast majority of attendees and creating a fun and supportive community connected by their increasingly work-from-home or flexible careers.
It’s this flexibility and home-career style that makes travel consulting so accessible to women.
My mom is a travel consultant with over twenty years of experience, and she likes to joke that she was working remotely before it became a trend. But there were also practical applications: she was able to raise three children as a stay-at-home mother and also have a career.
But women don’t just dominate jobs in the travel industry: they’re also often the deciding factor in how people – that is, themselves, their families and friends – travel.
Women typically make about 80-85 percent of all travel decisions—this number does not refer to travel advisors, but rather to travelers booking and planning trips for their friends and family, with or without the help of an advisor. professional.
So while gender inequality exists in the executive branches of this industry, other parts of the travel industry are largely female-centric.
I will not say that these parts of the industry are dominated by women, because dominance is an entirely masculine word that brings to mind the age-old conqueror of ancient myth, trampling over those who once held power as some sort of punishment for his once-humble origins, but I will say that these sides of industry are lifted up by the number of women in them.
Raised because they are encouraging, because no one is against an 84 percent, and because a woman travel consultant raised me, her daughter, to participate in the conversation and in the historically male field of journalism.
One day, I hope to write that women leaders in this industry share as much space in their part of the industry as they do in travel consulting, and that instead of using words like “dominion” to describe it, they use words as “equalizing, “elevating” and “equal”.
This Women’s History Month, celebrate the women who participated in this industry in all its categories and niches, who paved the way for generations to come after them, and if you are a woman in this industry yourself, remember this : your actions. they matter. Thank you.
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