International Women’s Day 2022 - #BreakTheBias

Posted: 8 March 2022

International Women’s Day seeks to forge a gender equal world through building workplaces where women thrive, celebrating women forging change in typically underrepresented fields and increasing visibility by championing women’s achievements. The theme of International Women’s Day in 2022 is Break the Bias, calling on people around the globe to imagine a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

To celebrate this International Women’s Day, we spoke with three of our own inspiring women at AAT Kings and Inspiring Journeys who journey across Australia and New Zealand showcasing our beautiful backyards to our guests.

Hear what they had to say, and a little about the women who inspire them below:

Brittany, Driver Guide

Brittany Uluru 1
Brittany's job as a Driver Guide takes her to Australia's stunning Red Centre


Tell us about your work as a Driver Guide

It is important for women’s voices to be heard because what we have to say is equally as important as anyone else. Why not have a female driver guide? So many people are surprised when they see a female driving a coach and have that realisation that we are just as skilled as any coach driver they’ve had previously. I feel like it opens people’s minds and puts into perspective the types of jobs women can do and do well.

Tell us about a woman in your life who has inspired you in your career. 

I was inspired by a Trip Manager when I went on a trip to Europe. I saw how passionate she was about her career and just how interesting and informative she was. That was when I first had the idea that I could do that too, and I wanted to bring the same atmosphere and unforgettable experience to guests here in Australia.

What’s one piece of advice you’d like to give other women who are considering training as a Travel Director or Driver Guide? 

One piece of advice I’d give for becoming a driver guide is to just go for it. You may be apprehensive or hesitant to take that step, but it is completely worth it, and you will be amazed at how much you can achieve.

Jessica, Driver Guide

Jessica Coach
Jessica inspecting a coach during her on-the-job training


Tell us about your work as a Driver Guide

The travel and touring business is in my blood. My parents and grandparents were tour operators in NSW when I was growing up. In a small family business, people like my mum needed to be able to perform all sorts of duties beyond her regular day job. Back then, in a male driven industry (pun intended!), my mum often had to prove she really did have mechanical knowledge of the vehicles.

Many years ago, our company needed to buy a new coach. Having done extensive research to ensure we bought the make and model which suited our business, my mum went along to make the purchase. She was met with some resistance from the salesperson who didn’t believe she knew much about coaches, nor that she was able to pay for one herself. Rather than let this stand in her way, she simply bought the $600,000 Mercedes Coach Design Body 3 Axel as part of her usual spare nuts and bolts order through the female receptionist instead.

This highlights the importance of us breaking the bias and speaking out against inequality.

Tell us about a woman in your life who has inspired you in your career

Apart from my mum, the biggest (albeit quietest) inspirations though, were the regular female drivers of my school bus route. Every so often our usual rotation of male bus drivers would be replaced with a woman for the day. As a primary school kid, I thought this was so cool, and would be excited to tell my parents each time it happened. Even now it still makes me excited to see women behind the wheel of a bus or coach.

Driving is still a predominately male profession and seeing women as drivers and driver/guides is important to inspire young people who want to pursue this as a career. There are some incredible women out here at AAT Kings and Inspiring Journeys in Yulara who would have really inspired me as a child.

You don’t have to move mountains to be an inspiration, you just have to show up.

Steph, Travel Director

Steph Coach 1Steph about to head off on a guided tour with guests


Tell us about your work as a Travel Director

Training and working as a Travel Director has given me a confidence in myself that I never realised that I could have. Being a shy, reserved person, I began travelling to help me decide on a future career and simply fell in love with travel.

During this time, I realised that there is a vital place for women in the travel industry. There are many girls and women in this industry who feel more comfortable going to another women for advice on the road and seeing a woman who can succeed and thrive in previously male dominated roles will hopefully inspire others to seek out a career in travel.

Tell us about a woman in your life who has inspired you in your career. 

I’m going to be a little stereotypical here and say my mum. I’m very lucky to have two parents who have always believed in and supported me through my life and never pushed me to do anything that I didn’t want to do. That’s something that everyone needs; someone in their life who believes in them and supports them when they need guidance. 

I’ve also noticed, especially as I get older, that I am showing some of the traits I have always found admirable in my mum, and that they have played a huge part in getting me to where I am today. 

What’s one piece of advice you’d like to give other women who are considering training as a Travel Director or Driver Guide? 

Go for it! The travel community is an incredibly supportive place and there will always be people along the way who will go out of their way to help you.One of the best feelings I’ve gotten from working in travel is when you meet another Travel Director whilst on the road and you’re able to bond instantly over shared experiences and understandings.  

If you could spend time with one inspirational woman, who would they be and why? 

I’d love to spend time with Sophie Matterson, who travelled Australia from Shark Bay WA to Byron Bay NSW with her 5 camels.  I love her story as I can see myself doing the same thing at some point! Her adventure has a laid-back feel to it, an attitude I try to keep in my life. Once she got to Coober Pedy, the immense heat forced her to stop for a while. She didn’t just give up, but instead gave herself time and then carried on. Her epic journeys shows that even with the convenience of planes, trains and automobiles to get us quickly and conveniently from A to B, it’s often taking your time along your journey that makes it all the more enjoyable.

Steph Contiki
Steph has also had the opportunity to work for iconic travel brands within the TTC family such as Contiki


How will you help #BreakTheBias this International Women’s Day?

 

By AAT Kings
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