< PrevNext > Women Will Take More Leadership Roles By Elizabeth West / 29 January 2018 / Contact Reporter Share 2017 was a year of fire and fury for women. Revelations about sexual harassment in the workplace rocked the entertainment and media industries, as well as politics and Silicon Valley, toppling figures from Hollywood and stand-up comedy to network news, public TV, radio and both the Democrat and Republican parties. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s ouster started with allegations of toxic “bro culture”. Kalanick hits closer to home for the business travel community, but does the conduct of one startup executive really reflect the culture of our industry? I mean, we don’t have these problems, do we? When it comes to workplace harassment, I need only point to the #MeToo movement to form a pretty solid theory: It’s everywhere. But sexual harassment is only the most overt iteration of gender bias. There are more subtle versions. Pay Inequality: For as long as BTN’s annual Salary Survey has asked whether the participant is male or female, women have consistently reported salaries about 20 percent lower than their male travel manager counterparts. Of course, equal pay assumes that men and women are doing the same jobs, and often they are not. It’s clear from the data that male respondents track overall to the more senior roles.The Corner Office: BTN’s Salary Survey queries travel management professionals across industries, so it’s not a fair assessment of the business travel industry, per se. It doesn’t survey suppliers at all. There also are other places to look for evidence like in the corner office, on boards of directors and in the technology companies that are feeding the innovation revolution in our industry. Take a look. How many women do you see? There are some true standouts: Carlson Cos. chairman Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Omega World Travel president and CEO Gloria Bohan and Best Western Hotels & Resorts chief marketing officer Dorothy Dowling are a sample. On the innovation front, SpotHero for Business, represented by co-founder Becca Rabinowitz, just won BTN’s 2017 Innovator of the Year Award. 30SecondsToFly co-founder and CEO Felicia Schneiderhan is building an artificial intelligence-powered business travel personal assistant. There are plenty of powerhouse women in our industry, but they are not nearly as numerous nor as visible as their male counterparts. In 2018, I predict, women will take the fires stoked in 2017 and turn them into action in their lives and in their careers. I also predict lessons learned in the corporate world in 2017 will translate into fairer opportunities for women in the workplace, including women in business travel.