Tuesday 5 February 2019

GUEST BLOG: Why 50 women in travel took to the stage at RADA

As you enter the RADA building, you immediately know you are somewhere special. Whether it’s the posters on the wall celebrating RADA alumni (a who’s who of modern day theatre and film) or just the general feel of the place, you know you are lucky to be there.

So, what brought 50 of our industry’s women to join Festive Road at RADA on a dreary Monday afternoon in January?

In 2018, we started to notice the lack of female representation on stage at key industry events. We all know there are plenty of smart women in travel, so why weren’t we hearing their voices, experiences and learnings?

There are some obvious answers. If you’re putting a panel together, you’re naturally inclined to pick those at the top of their game, the most senior people in their organisations. As with many industries, as we look up the career ladder, those tend to be male-dominated positions. Other reasons include lack of confidence and simply not having the network to know who decides who gets on stage!

But that’s really not good enough. Festive Road decided it was time to do something about it.

We recruited RADA to run a ‘Stepping Into The Spotlight’ masterclass and the results were fantastic. Delivered by Lisa Akesson, we examined how to increase our personal impact in presentation situations, how to speak with clarity and importantly how to manage nerves under stressful conditions. The transformation from the beginning to the end of the session was incredible.

So, what now? All 50 RADA Leading Ladies committed to putting these new skills to good use. We are already looking forward to seeing some of these 50 women onstage at the Business Travel Show in February. We’d also love to challenge you – if you’re putting a conference session together and looking for great stories and speakers with a professional edge, look outside of your immediate network and choose one of our RADA Leading Ladies!

This post was written by Louise Kilgannon, Principal, Festive Road. The Business Travel Show takes place 20-21 February 2019 - to secure your free place, please visit www.businesstravelshow.com/register  

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