Women In Business

10 Women thriving in travel tech

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I work in a company with three male founders. However, there are plenty of women in middle and senior management that inspire me every day. I also had more women then men as my managers throughout my path in the travel industry. However, the leaders of the companies I have worked for were always men.

I ran a search to find out if there are many companies in travel tech that are being led by girl power. Sadly on LinkedIn looking for CEOs in Travel and Leisure industries, most of pages resulted a majority of men. Digging deeper and having other sources like Crunchbase, I found amazing women leading big players and booming startups in this sector.

1-    Gillian Tans — CEO, Booking.com

As Booking.com’s Chief Executive Officer, Gillian Tans is responsible for the global strategy and operations of Booking.com, including the management of all business units within the organisation. Previously, Gillian served as Booking.com’s President and Chief Operating Officer, a role she was appointed to in 2011, as well as other positions at the helm of Booking.com’s Global Sales, Operations, IT, Content and Customer Care departments. Under her leadership, Booking.com has advanced its operations and sales across more than 224 countries and territories around the world.

2 — Christine Petersen – CEO, Time Out Digital

Christine Petersen (pictured above) has been appointed as Non-Executive Director of the Board. She will be advising the board on advancing Time Out’s strategy and evolution of the digital platform globally.

Petersen joins Time Out having led global growth strategies for a number of iconic digital travel brands, including spending nearly a decade as President of TripAdvisor for Business and Chief Marketing Officer. There she oversaw tremendous growth in traffic, awareness and revenue, taking the company from a US-centric platform to the world’s largest and best-known travel site.

Named one of the top 25 women in travel by Forbes Magazine, Petersen also served as Vice President, Marketing with Preview Travel and Travelocity. Prior to that, Petersen was Vice President at Charles Schwab and Co. and Marketing Director at Fidelity Investments. She began her career with American Express holding management positions in the card, travel and financial services divisions.

Petersen also currently serves as a Board Director to Bankrate, Inc. (a NYSE listed company) and an advisor and/or investor in several start-ups including VeryApt Inc, Jebbit, Inc. and Lola Travel Inc.

3 — Ruzwana Bashir — CEO, Peek

Ruzwana Bashir is Co-founder & CEO of Peek.com. She is a travel junkie, having navigated her way through 40 countries.

She previously worked at Gilt Groupe, Art.sy, the Blackstone Group and Goldman Sachs. Ruzwana has an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Fulbright Scholar, and a BA in Economics from Oxford University, where she was President of the Oxford Union.

4 — Jane Jie Su — CEO, C-Trip

Jane Jie Sun has been the Chief Executive Officer of Ctrip.com International Ltd. since November 2016. Ms. Sun serves as the Head of the SEC and External Reporting Division of Applied Materials, Inc. She served as Chief Operating Officer at from May 2012 to November 2016 and Co-President from March 2015 to November 2016. She served as the Chief Financial Officer of Ctrip.com International Ltd. from December 2005 to May 2012. Prior to joining Applied Materials, Inc., she worked with KPMG LLP as an audit manager in Silicon Valley, California for five years. She has been an Independent Director of TAL Education Group since October 2010. She has extensive experience in SEC reporting, finance and accounting. She has worked with Applied Materials, Inc. since 1997. She is a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and a member of State of California Certified Public Accountant. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the Business School of University of Florida with High Honors. Ms. Sun also attended the undergraduate program at the Beijing University Law School from 1987 to 1989.

5 . Michelle Beveridge — CIO, Intrepid Group

An experienced C-level executive and board director of 10+ years, Michelle has developed her capabilities in the government and private sectors in industries including pharmaceuticals, logistics, financial services, education and travel.

Michelle is a strong advocate for gender diversity in IT. As a past President of the Victorian ICT for Women Network she was involved in the start-up of Go Girl, Go for IT, a project that has continued to grow and reach more high school students with informative and fun activities about careers in IT.

Initially pursuing a career in accounting and later in Information Technology, Michelle has leveraged these combined skills to facilitate significant business change and growth programs. In 2016 Michelle’s achievements in innovation, leadership and digital transformation in the travel industry were recognised through the Women in Travel (Technology) Award and by being named in the top 25 of the CIO50 Awards.

Similarly Michelle has used her commercial and technology understanding to contribute as a Director and Chairman in various boards including Vernet Pty Ltd, Australian Computer Society, Queen Victoria Women’s Centre, and CIO Executive Council.

Michelle is a Fellow and Certified Professional of the Australian Computer Society, a Certified Professional Accountant, and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

She studied at University of New South Wales completing her Masters of Business Administration (Executive), and Charles Sturt University for her Bachelor of Business.

6 — Alexandra Charters Zubko — Co-Founder, Triptease

Alex heads up Business Development. Before Triptease, Alex ran Strategy at Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG). In 2012 she won the IHIF Young Leader Award, one of the top accolades in the travel industry. She earned her MBA at Stanford.

7 — Jamie Wong — Co-Founder and CEO, Vayable

Jamie Wong is the Co-Founder and CEO of Vayable.com. Her vision for a more open world that enables collaborative experiences and exchanges through travel is the driving force behind Vayable. Her commitment to bringing insider travel experiences to the world by making them easier to find, create and book provides the framework for Vayable’s platform and community.

Jamie comes from a comprehensive background in disruptive media, advocacy and communication. She is a dynamic creative and leader with a passion for bringing ideas to market that change the way people live.

She has been to nearly 30 countries — volunteering for hurricane relief in Honduras, visiting distant cousins in her ancestral village in Southern China, and advising the president of France’s second-largest nonprofit organization in Paris.

Jamie’s eclectic experience spans many of the most notable names in media, and international advocacy, including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Sundance Channel Digital, Kickstarter, Michael Moore, Action Against Hunger, American Jewish World Service, NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Before co-founding Vayable, she was a creative and strategy consultant for tech companies, delivering strategy and creative to Adobe, Boku, Comcast, JobVite, Juniper Networks and others.

8 — Camille Rumani, Co-Founder & COO, VizEat

Camille Rumani is the co-founder and COO of VizEat — Europe’s largest food experience platform. A Mandarin speaker, Camille lived and worked in Beijing. Returning to Paris to focus on her three passions: tech, food, and travel, Camille met with her business partner, Jean-Michel Petit. VizEat brings together locals and travellers for authentic food experiences. Now with +22,000 hosts in +110 countries, VizEat was selected by Apple as one of the top 3 apps of 2016 and partners closely with major players in the tourism ecosystem.

9 — Sathya Smith — VP Technology, onefinestay

Sathya is a senior technologist experienced in building products that enable businesses to scale. Sathya joined onefinestay after spending 11 years at Google in both the US and the UK in a variety of roles on multiple Google Products, including YouTube, Google Play and Maps. Prior to Google, Sathya was a Network Engineer at Netscaler, which was eventually bought by Citrix Systems. Sathya started her career as software engineer at Ericsson. As VP of Technology at onefinestay, Sathya’s key responsibilities include developing the company’s technical platform that supports the complex operations surrounding both the guest and host experiences.

10 — Tali Rapaport — VP Product, Lyft

Tali Rapaport is the Vice President of Product at Lyft since January, 2015. She also co-founded and became CEO of Plumfare, a social gifting website and mobile app that allows users to instantly send great gifts. In 2013, Plumfare was acquired by Groupun where Tali worked as Director of Product Management. Prior in founding Plumfare, Tali worked as Director of Product Lead at Seatwave and an Observer on the Board at The Gilt Groupe. Tali became an Associate at Matrix Partners for over two years. She has also at Goldman Sachs as an Analyst.

Tali studied BA in Applied Math and Master of Science in Environmental Engineering at Harvard University.

About Filipa Manita

Filipa Manita is a travel professional passionate about tech with a decade of experience in operations. Leads a team at Uniplaces, one of the hottest startups in Portugal (Wired) and runs Travel Tech Job, a platform fully dedicated to careers in travel and hospitality tech.

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    1 Comment

    1. linda.pashaj@rentalsunited.com'

      Linda

      January 23, 2018 at 9:53 pm

      Hi there Filipa,

      Great post!
      Can I also suggest adding Vanessa de Souza Lage? She´s the founder of the Vrtech Events and co-founder of Rentals United.

      BR,
      Linda

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