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Manchester, United Kingdom — 22-25 September 2009

WYSE Archives

I’ve got three words for you

Mar 7, 2019

WYSE women in travel reflect on the best and worst career advice for women in travel

This year International Women’s Day is asking for your attention to the issue of gender balance through its #BalanceforBetter campaign. The goal of the campaign is to provide “unified direction to guide and galvanize continuous collective action.”

As the largest global network of professionals working in youth travel, we asked women from the WYSE community to tell us the best and worst advice they would share with young women in the travel industry – and to say it in just three words. Here’s what they told us.


“Be the elephant.”
“Wait for promotion.” Kim Whitaker, Once Youth Hotels

“Find your niche. Trust your intuition… avoid the cowboys.”
“Don’t sell yourself short.”  Lauren Groves, GROUND

“Always be learning.”
“Wait for perfection.”  Kristin Leeman, MAGNIFI GROUP

“Invest in yourself. Put aside the time to plan your own future, set goals, educate yourself and ask for the opportunities you want to try.”
“Wait your turn.”  Kate Cowan, An Óige

“Embrace your femininity.”
“4-hour work week. I believe you need to work harder than that, especially at the beginning.”  Anula Galewska, Urban Adventures

“Expect the unexpected.”
“Smile and nod.” Michelle Lomeña, AIP Language Institute

“Avoid congealed blood. For context, I was eating what I thought was mushroom and I ended up with the worst food poisoning.”
“There’s always tomorrow. This could also be good advice in some cases.”  Christine La Monica-Lunn, InterExchange

“Push the boundaries.”
“Things won’t change.”  Abby Holland, What Marketing

“Flexibility, open-minded, persistence.”
“I have no clue about the worst advice yet – not very good at offering bad advice.” Hazel Yao, Wanderlust

“Listen, learn, lead.
“Be a man.”  Sandra Cohen, 92Y Residence

“Be brave. Don’t worry about being the first or only one.”
“Actually, all things opposite to the above.” Nienke Geudeker and Maia Rezig,

“Believe in yourself.”
“Wait for opportunities.”  Kelly Galaski, Planeterra Foundation

“Work hard, play harder…I know it’s four words and quite old school, but so true!”
“Don’t do it!”  Anneli Buehrle, STA Travel

“Develop your strengths.”
“Strengthen your weaknesses. You can spend a lot of time and energy becoming mediocre at the things you’re naturally bad at, or you can use the same amount of time and energy to become a superstar at the things you’re naturally good at.  Don’t waste time trying to be good at everything – it will just detract from becoming amazing at something.”  Stephanie Taylor-Carrillo, SANDEMANs NEW Europe

“Be truly bold.”
“Don’t you worry.”  Yael Weiss Gadish, bitemojo

“Have no regrets.”
“Others know better. Beware of impostor syndrome because so many women think their opinion doesn’t matter, or that they are not worthy to achieve their dreams and ambitions…when of course they are!”  Rebecca O’Connor, Hostelling International

“Believe in yourself.”
“Wait your turn.”  Nicola Foley, Celtic Group Hostels

“Lead with smarts.
“Stay in your lane.”  Christina Tunnah, World Nomads

“You should smile.”
“You should smile. I know…I’m difficult like that.”  Wendy Morrill, WYSE Travel Confederation

“First go travel. Bring duct tape.”
“You’ll get upgraded.” Renata Pappin, Vagaband