VisitBritain Celebrates Women’s History Month 2023
Britain’s history is laden with contributions from outstanding women who helped to shape the world we live in today. From suffragette struggles in Manchester to ground-breaking sculpture in Cornwall and an era-defining voice in London, their vast and wide-ranging achievements can be celebrated during Women’s History Month and throughout the year in Britain.
For International Women’s Day this year and in celebration of Women’s History Month, VisitBritain’s CEO Patricia Yates shares her thoughts on female leadership and influential women in her life:
What does the 2023 International Women’s Day’s theme of ‘embracing equity’ mean to you?
Gender diversity and empowerment is something that we take very seriously at VisitBritain. We acknowledge that it’s not a one size fits all approach and recognise that women’s careers may have a very different trajectory from men’s careers, and that this can also change throughout the stages of their life. I think the important change is the culture in the workplace and continuing to champion our own futures.
I’m also very conscious that I am fortunate to have the job I have and that I’ve got to where I am on the basis of so many incredible supporters and mentors throughout my career. I’ve been privileged with access to a great education and I understand that many women around the world do not have this same access. It’s also fundamental to me that women and men get paid the same salaries and yet across the world this still isn’t always the case.
Which women have been influential on your career journey to become the CEO of VisitBritain?
My secondary school maths teacher Mrs Nash who taught me A level maths in her lunch hour and took me seriously when I expressed my desire to go to Oxford University. Also, consumer campaigner Dame Sheila McKechnie who was an inspirational leader as a CEO. She was brave, fearless and taught me not to be reliant on the hierarchy and to use the best people no matter where in the organisation they were.
What’s one piece of advice you have for aspiring female leaders in the tourism industry?
Dream big, be ambitious, go for it. Being CEO is one of the most empowering jobs as you really can put your dreams into operation. Set a clear vision and trust your talent. Play people to their strengths, no matter their age, title or where they are located, I think that’s the key to success of a global organisation. Do not be afraid of making mistakes, as you will always learn from them.
What are some of your top tips for travellers heading to Britain this year?
This year, we’re encouraging visitors to come and ‘See Things Differently,’ positioning Britain as a dynamic, fun and inclusive destination for all. Britain really is packed full of fresh and exciting experiences for Australians to come and enjoy right now, from the vibrancy of our cities and contemporary culture to our stunning coastline and seaside destinations, from the beauty of our countryside to our word-class history and heritage. Whatever your cup of tea, we’ve got it in Britain!
In May, the global spotlight will be on Britain for the historic Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III. Set against the backdrop of our iconic attractions including Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey, there will be fantastic opportunities to come and experience the magnificent pomp and pageantry, year-round celebrations and show-stopping events that you can only have in Britain. Later in the month, we look forward to Liverpool hosting the Eurovision Song Contest, on behalf of Ukraine. Britain’s rich musical heritage will take centre stage with many experiences on offer across our musical cities from Liverpool to Glasgow, London to Manchester, alongside our legendary festivals, music venues and year-round concerts.
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