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AWTE Lunch – “The future of our world is only as bright as the future of our girls.” Michelle Obama

The Association of Women Travel Executives (AWTE) Ireland hosted a lunch celebrating International Women’s Day on 8th March in the Clarence Hotel on Wellington Quay in Dublin, sponsored by the Spanish Tourist Board and Ronda Tourism.

Clare Dunne, Chairperson of AWTE & spokesperson for the day, spoke about the mission statement for 2022 – to empower, encourage and educate members in their careers and personal lives and foster support and collaboration amongst members. In an inspiring confirmation of the strength of women and honouring the achievements of many leaders, it resonated acutely with the packed audience.

The guest speaker was Pauliina Ahlstedt who has recently joined British Airways as Strategic Alliances & Partnerships Manager leading a team of Partnerships Executives. She shared her experiences in Airline Alliances and Partnerships, having built relationships with numerous airlines all over the world. She hails from Finland and is currently based in the UK but began her career in the USIT offices on the Quays. It certainly brought a flashback to the old USIT student card for those of us of a certain vintage. 

Not just supporting each other, the AWTE raised funds for the Irish Red Cross in aid of the Ukrainian humanitarian crisis. With a multitude of prizes for the raffle, sponsors included Air Canada, Aer Lingus, A&G, Travel Centres, Celebrity Cruises, Amadeus, Sue Maxwell, Teresa Murphy Jewellery, Seabody.com, Mama Sassy Chocolate Creations, Ann Dempsey, Cleaver East, Bookabed and Dublin Airport. As is always evident in travel, the industry is a close-knit family with those who have left the trade still providing support at the event. On a side note, very best of luck to the entrepreneurs who have ventured into new fields.

ATWE hosted a fantastic event with members of the committee: Lorraine Quinn (Vice Chairperson), Yvonne Muldoon (Secretary), Allie Sheehan (PR, Web & Communications), Dympna Crowley (Membership), Fiona Foster (Membership), Martina Coogan & Teresa Murphy (Events) and recently joined, Valerie Murphy (Partnerships). 

Finally, “A girl should be two things: Who and what she wants.” said Coco Chanel. I have two young daughters who firmly believe this. I hope and try to ensure they always do and hope the world offers them every opportunity. Organisations and events like this help pave the way for a better future and hopefully, the sooner the better.

Shane Cullen
Shane Cullen
Shane Cullen has been managing director of a media production studio for nearly 20 years working on projects for a global clientele. He has worked in the travel industry for over a decade and as a travel journalist since 2015. He is passionate about travel, film & photography. He also has a keen interest in emerging technology.


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