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In commemoration of the historic march thousands of women embarked on to the Union Building in Pretoria on 9 August 1956, August is celebrated as Women’s Month, dedicated to women from all walks of life.

Amadeus Africa introduces Kaine Sabiti, Simone Seekoei, and Mariatou Ouattara. These impressive women have shared their enlightening thoughts on careers, equality, and incredible women from around the world who have inspired them in their daily lives and careers.

Simone Seekoei – Marketing and Communications Amadeus, Southern Africa

Following the path of Marketing has led Simone into the travel industry.

She expresses that there is a lot to learn as it is a dynamic industry and technology is ever-changing. “Being agile and possessing a desire to continue learning new ways of doing things and taking on intimidating challenges is what got me into the door and there’s still so much further to go”, she adds.

As a woman in the travel industry, Simone believes that the element of surprise is an advantage. There are instances when less is expected from women in the workplace which is a factor women can leverage. You take charge over something when you take what is negative and turn it into a positive.

What is truly fantastic is that Amadeus is a great company to work for. You get to see powerful women all around you. This kind of atmosphere breaks down psychological barriers and begs you to realize that anything is possible here.

In my humble opinion, in order to aim higher as a woman in the travel industry and life in general you need to decide on what it is you want and devise a workable plan. Learn as much as you can and more and keep listening to those who came before you. Don’t be afraid to create a new foot trail. Put yourself out there even if you make mistakes. Lastly, don’t blend in.

Which woman inspires you?

My previous boss, Jannine Adams is such an inspiration. She taught me lessons most expensive schools cannot teach you. She is strong. I don’t think she was ever afraid of any challenge! I aspire to take things on in the same way and stay focused on solutions only.

Kaine Sabiti – Marketing and Communications Amadeus, East Africa

We see more and more women leaders and entrepreneurial women in Africa, and that is fantastic. The women in our region are extremely proactive: they are not only leaders in their field, they are also grooming younger girls to follow in their footsteps.

Especially girls who want to venture into the male-dominated fields, such as the technology world, can benefit greatly from having women mentors in the field. It’s a great passion of mine to support women and girls in travel technology, and together with Amadeus we are supporting numerous initiatives to motivate and inspire girls to pursue careers in travel technology. What is great is that we have seen the interest for travel technology grow in the region.

Combining a successful career and family life will always be a challenge. Women need to be leaders in their careers and leaders of their homes and juggle many different things. I think that women should really be celebrated for what they achieve.

Which woman inspires you?

I feel Michelle Obama is a great inspiration. She is a role-model for women across the world. Not only is she an amazing mother and wife, she is also the first lady of one of the most powerful nations in the world, a role she fulfils with grace and elegance. Also my own mother is a great inspiration for me. She has had to sacrifice so much for her family and to make sure her family is happy and thriving.

Mariatou Ouattara – Marketing and Communications Manager Amadeus, Central and West Africa

Mariatou did not decide for a career in travel. Instead, she followed the path of marketing and communication in Amadeus.

The advantage women enjoy in the travel industry – and that could potentially give them the edge – is that most women pay careful attention to detail. This could be a great asset in the travel industry where the latest trends are all about personalisation.

I am glad to see more and more women in the region who are active both in the workplace and in the entrepreneurial world, in various fields including science, mode, Social Media, environment, etc. However, I do believe that there is room for more changes especially when it comes to allowing women access to the boardroom and positions of decision.

My advice to women – and men – who want to have a career in the travel industry is to trust yourself, work hard, learn from others and add your special touch that could make your work or your business unique.

Women who want to pursue higher ranks in the travel industry need to be extremely organised and professional, actively participate in major meetings and stay informed about trends and potential opportunities.

Which woman inspires you? 

In my career, several colleagues in Madrid and Africa have been a great source of inspiration for me because of their professionalism, consistency and valuable contribution. In my personal life, my mother is a role model for me because of her resilience at work as a teacher and her dedication to her family.