International Womens Day


International Women's Day 2024: Inspire Inclusion

This International Women's Day, we celebrate women who Inspire Inclusion. We celebrate the remarkable journeys, achievements, and contributions of women across Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) who contribute to driving inclusion across all disciplines.

Our commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace is ongoing and seen in the initiatives that have been implemented to support women and underrepresented groups.

Let's dive into just a few experiences and insights from inspiring women at FCTG:

Charlene Leiss

Charlene Leiss: Diversity as a catalyst for innovation


Charlene Leiss’ journey into the travel industry, began with booking ski packages in Vail, Colorado. When asked about her journey and fostering inclusivity, she says, "I realized the positive impact diversity in the workplace and individual teams has on innovation and problem-solving and made it a point to surround myself with people of different backgrounds who carry the strengths that I lack."

"I've learned so much from the WomenWise program at Flight Centre, from our DEI ambassadors, and most recently from the various Employee Resource Groups that we've established to foster new ways of thinking and developing in a more diverse and inclusive world - I really believe the sky is the limit."

Emese Graham

Emese Graham: Advancing equity and justice


Emese's leadership journey is intertwined with her commitment to equity and justice. By taking direct initiative to clarify FCTG's gender equity strategy and enhancing supplier diversity, Emese has made tangible impacts in supporting women and underrepresented groups.

I added clarity to our gender equity strategy through regular measurements including the Seramount inclusion index, workplace demographics, and focus groups conducted with our ERGs.” Emese explains.

When speaking on diversity in supply, Emese shares, I focused on improving supplier diversity in our North American partner networks. Since the program’s launch, we have helped 4,156 travelers book their trip with a BIPOC-owned business. We now invite our travel experts across FCTG Americas to collaborate in our supplier diversity goals by nominating businesses they would like to be added to our network of preferred suppliers.” She continues, We encourage nominations of outstanding businesses owned by women, people of color, LGBTQ2IA+ individuals, people with disabilities, and other equity-deserving groups.”

Ashley Corey

Ashley Corey: Leading by example


Ashley’s beginnings in the travel industry began with managing travel in a female-owned, all female small business that represented international DJs, most of whom were also women. When speaking of her former boss, she shares,She was the definition of leading by example.  Every day was inspiring when working for a self-made female President and Owner as well as supporting the female artists who were chasing their dreams.”

Since then, Ashley has received mentorship and leadership influence from incredible women along the way to her current role.

As Corporate Traveler's  Vice President of Sales, Ashley reflects, “In my current role, I can’t help but think that the reason I lead the way I do is because of the previous leaders that I looked up to in the early days of my career. I learned the importance of having integrity, standing up for yourself and what you feel is right, fostering relationships, having empathy and being open-minded to others who might have different opinions.  I try to emulate these values daily with my team and feel that this is what fosters an inclusive working environment with not only the females, but underrepresented groups as well.”
“I work with so many inspirational women who truly amaze me every day.  I do not take for granted the opportunities that Flight Centre Travel Group has given to me as well as the opportunity to work alongside and learn from some of the best women in the industry.”

Kate Neufeld

Kate Neufeld: Advocating for gender equity and inclusion


Kate's journey in the travel industry and her role as the Gender Equity ERG Coordinator for the USA and Canada have led to significant initiatives supporting women and underrepresented groups. Her efforts in creating inclusive spaces and empowering employees show the importance of asking the right questions to ensure that everyone, regardless of gender expression or identity, can experience the world freely.

“In my role as the Gender Equity ERG Coordinator for Canada and the USA, I have put forth multiple initiatives and programs in the last year. We are actually currently in the middle of an Interview Skills and Self-Promotion Program which is a direct result of surveying our ERG members and asking how we can foster a more inclusive workplace to support and empower Flighties to achieve their brightness of future.” Kate shared.

Chelsea Eaton

Chelsea Eaton: Amplifying voices for inclusion and accessibility


Chelsea's journey from the SaaS industry to the vibrant world of business travel at FCM Travel has been a testament to the power of diversity and inclusion. As a founding member of the Accessibility Employee Resource Group (ERG) in the Americas, she's championed the cause of employees with disabilities and advocated for a workplace where diverse voices are not just heard but amplified.

She says, “The most important part of inclusivity is making sure diverse voices are heard and taken seriously. As I grow and evolve in my career, I focus on reinforcing confidence in those around me from underrepresented groups who may need a little extra support.” Chelsea continues, “In my experience, it’s not that someone doesn’t want their voice to be heard, it’s that they’re not sure how to speak up. I try to be the person that hands them the mic.”

Lisa Baker

Lisa Baker: Empowering through education


Lisa's multifaceted career at FCTG, from Travel Agent to People & Culture Leader, is underscored by the inclusivity of the company and the teams that supported her along the way. She says, “Travel itself is all about interacting with people from various cultures and backgrounds, so having a supportive and inclusive environment in our workplace wasn't just of moral importance, it is also a strategic advantage. We are all better and stronger for working together in diverse teams who aren’t afraid of change and innovation.”

“By embracing diversity and creating a culture of belonging, we not only attract top talent but also cultivate innovation, creativity, and empathy, ultimately enhancing the experiences we offer to our people and our customers.”

Anna Fisher

Anna Fisher: Prioritizing women's health and well-being


In Anna’s 20-year journey with FCTG, she has championed multiple initiatives involving women's health through FCTG’s Healthwise programs. She says, “Through addressing crucial topics like Menopause, Breast Cancer, and Fertility struggles, we’ve been able to open dialogues and provide crucial resources to empower women with knowledge and support during significant life transitions.”

Anna's dedication to fostering awareness and understanding within the workplace contributes to a culture of empathy and empowerment, “so that our people who might be struggling are not feeling alone.” Anna adds.

Miranda Ferreira

Miranda Ferreira: Promoting equality through on-the-job education and kindness


“I started with FCTG in 2002, with absolutely no experience or higher education. One great thing about the travel industry is that you often don’t need post-secondary education to get your foot in the door. In this way, the travel industry provides a chance for folks who may not have had the opportunity for higher education to have a fulfilling career.” Miranda starts.

“I try to follow a philosophy of kindness and inclusion. I ask myself the question, ‘how can I contribute to this person’s future success? What challenges have they told me they’ve experienced in the past, and how can I be the difference they might need in their current career?’ For every person, in every scenario, it’s important to help them believe that their career dreams are possible.”

From there, “we can create a development and mentorship program to help them get there. I’m hopeful that if others see me genuinely verbalizing positive reinforcement, I can create a culture in which more people do the same. Implement kindness. What other initiative could be more impactful?”

What does the future of gender equality and inclusion look like within the travel industry and FCTG?


Emese: I think there is still a common misunderstanding of gender equality as an anti-man movement. I believe it may become more imperative in the future to correct that perception by meeting the unique needs of all genders, being especially aware of potential resistance towards seeing more women and people with marginalized genders in leadership spaces.

The work of gender equality is not yet done. I think continuing to measure equity gaps is key to understanding how the travel industry can meet the current needs of women, men, and gender nonconforming people.  


Charlene: Although women make up the majority of the workforce at Flight Centre today, we still need to do more to promote and encourage women in leadership roles, especially in the technology and specialty areas that have been historically dominated by men. 

I think the Americas will continue to lead our company as pioneers in this regard, by bringing more awareness, focus and investment to the area of diversity, which will ultimately make us a more vibrant and successful company for generations to come.


Chelsea: There has been so much important work done across industries to open doors for women to grow and evolve in senior leadership and executive roles. This top-down representation is key for including the female perspective, but the truth is, no work can be truly finished until all women of all backgrounds have the same opportunity to break that glass ceiling.

At FCM, I’m proud to work with so many amazing women in leadership day in and day out, and our dedication to DEI through our company-wide initiatives and Employee Resource Group structure shows me that we are a company that “walks the walk.” I’m honored to be a part of it.


Lisa: Our company has made huge strides in supporting inclusivity over the last few years, in the People & Culture team we have a dedicated DEI Manager who implemented and manages our employee resource groups (ERG’s) so our people can connect and support each other based on shared identities or interests, fostering a sense of belonging and community.  Those focus areas are LGBTQ+, Accessibility, Gender Equality, Racial Equity and Sustainability and Environmental Justice.

As we celebrate International Women's Day 2024, the stories of Emese, Chelsea, Ashley, Charlene, Lisa, Anna, Miranda, and Kate, remind us of the power of inclusion and the importance of every individual's contribution to creating a more equitable world. At FCTG, we're proud to walk the walk, championing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and inspiring others to do the same. Here's to a future where every day is a step closer to true inclusion.