Festive Road’s managing partner, Caroline Strachan, was crowned “Entrepreneur of the Year” at this week’s Everywoman in Travel Awards, held in association with IBM iX.
Everywoman is an organisation dedicated to the advancement of women in business. It was set up in 1999, and runs events, as well as a learning and development platform, the everywomanNetwork. It has tens of thousands of members in 100 countries, enabling “women and male ‘ambassadors of change’ to access first class development resources anytime, anywhere”. 
Strachan began her career in travel in 1995. Since joining travel and meetings engagement consultancy Festive Road in 2016, she has multiplied revenue by more than seven times and expanded its operations from the UK and France to Scandinavia, Germany, the US and Australia. She also co-founded non-profit networking community LEVEL women, which supports women working in business travel. 
The awards celebrated individuals from all walks of life who are championing gender diversity, and whose talents are driving real commercial results for their businesses.
Bill Tannahill, chief executive of Inc Travel, was shortlisted in the new-for-2018 “Male Agent of Change” category, which is awarded to a man for his active commitment to advancing the progress of women working in travel.
Also in the business travel sector, Suzanne Horner, chief executive, Gray Dawes Group, and Joanna Greenfield, general manager FCM Travel UK and Ireland, Flight Centre, were shortlisted for another new category, “Executive Leader”, awarded to a woman making a significant direct financial contribution to the commercial success of the business. 
Meanwhile Sydney Howard, apprentice business travel consultant, Clarity, was a finalist in the “One to watch” category
The event was held at the East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf, and attended by senior business leaders and supporters of the everywoman awards programmes, including Sarah Newton, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work.
Karen Gill MBE, co-founder of everywoman, said: “Our recent white paper showed that access to female role models is a major source of inspiration for 74% of women, who state that role models inspire them to develop their careers. This is why visible female talent is essential in all industries – you can’t be what you can’t see. By showcasing the success stories of this year’s winners, we, along with IBM iX, are determined to encourage the individuals that’ll make a valuable contribution to the future of the UK’s thriving travel sector.” 
The 2018 IBM iX everywoman in Travel Awards category winners in full:
One to Watch, sponsored by TripAdvisor
Hannah Fairley, Apprentice Travel Sales Consultant, Thomas Cook UK.
Tomorrow’s Leader 
Alice Hye, Services Contracts Manager, AC Group
Caroline Strachan, managing partner, Festive Road 
Above & Beyond 
Swati Agarwal, FP&A Manager, Celebrity Cruises
Team Leader
Roisin O’Sullivan, chief operating officer, Walks
Leader of Change
Clare Tobin, chief executive, Olympic Holidays
International Inspiration 
Meenu Vadera, founder, Azad Foundation and Sakha Consulting Wings
Male Agent of Change
Stuart Leven, vice-president EMEA, & managing director, RCL Cruises
Executive Leader
Julia Kemp, director of international sales & partnerships, Avis Budget Group
Special recognition was given to the overall “Woman of the Year”, Captain Kate McWilliams, airline captain for EasyJet – who at the age of 26 became the world’s youngest female captain. 

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