Last updated on November 2nd, 2023
Lead image: Together we can amplify the voices of women over 50 and help the industry evolve and adapt / Photo via Envato
Women join forces to accelerate diversity and change
by JourneyWoman Staff
JourneyWoman, the world’s original solo travel publication, has launched the JourneyWoman Women’s Travel Speaker’s Bureau to elevate the voices of women, while providing organizations with women over 50 as role models for others. The JourneyWoman Women’s Speaker’s Bureau includes 16 founding members, including award-winning visual storyteller Lola Akinmade Akerstrom, Indigenous leader Brenda Holder, regenerative tourism pioneer Anna Pollock Tanzila Khan, accessible solo travel activist and and women’s safety and LGBTQ+ advocate Tracey Breeden.
Women are integral to travel and make 85% of all travel decisions. However, JourneyWoman’s December 2022 study, “The Influence and Affluence of the Solo Female Traveler Over 50”, showed that 70% of women over 50 felt ignored and undervalued by the travel industry, despite representing trillions in spending power. Women over 50 are the fastest-growing demographic over the next 10 years, according to a recent study. Read more about the Woman over 50 traveller here.
“As highly experienced travellers, entrepreneurs, teachers, educators, writers and activists, we are using our voices to create positive change in travel, while sharing our perspective, understanding and wisdom on contemporary issues,” says Carolyn Ray, CEO, JourneyWoman. “Collectively, all of these women are determined to shift stereotypes and bring the issues of ageism, accessibility, safety and diversity into the spotlight. With our voices, we can shift the narrative, create change and show mature women that they are seen and valued. Ultimately, I hope that we can help the industry adapt to the needs of women 50+ and inspire more women to travel with intention and purpose.”
Lola Akinmade Akerstrom
Founding members of the JourneyWoman Women’s Speaker’s Bureau
The 16 founding members of the JourneyWoman Speaker’s Bureau include women over 50 who are actively involved with JourneyWoman, including roles on its Women’s Travel Advisory Council, Editorial Team, previous events and webinars, and members of its Women’s Travel Directory.
“My aspiration is to expand this resource and invite more women to join us, so that this becomes a thriving, exciting platform for women’s voices to be heard,” Ray says. “This is a very small — but important — first step in that direction, as part of my desire to advocate for women over 50 in travel. Unless we are represented, our voices cannot be heard. And without our voices, we can’t move forward.”
Women will share their expertise and wisdom in areas such as women’s empowerment, accessible solo travel, travel over 80, LGBTQ+ travel, and women’s safety, as well as topics related to midlife health and wellness, financial wellbeing, sustainability, transformational travel and animal ethics and conservation.
Initial members of the JourneyWoman Women’s Speaker’s Bureau include:
- Lola Akinmade Akerstrom, award-winning visual storyteller, international bestselling author, and entrepreneur
- Dawn Booker, Fearless traveler, entrepreneur and culture curator
- Tracey Breeden, Activist and Advocate for Women’s Safety, Gender-Based Violence and LGBTQ+ Rights, Human trafficking
- Diana Eden, Solo Travel Over 80, Author and Award-winning Costume Designer
- Tanzila Khan, Advocate for Accessible Solo Travel and Menstrual Health, Activist, Author, Entrepreneur, Winner of the Amal Clooney Award for Women’s Empowerment
- Tonya Fitzpatrick, Esq.: Explorers Club member, Delegate to U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (63rd), Lawyer, Author
- Karen Gershowitz, Author, “Wanderlust” and “Travel Mania”, Solo Travel and Mobility
- Cathy Gotfried, CEO, Erawan Travel/Babes in Bali Southeast Asia, Group Travel, Travel Advisor
- Paige Hanson, Cybersecurity and Identity theft prevention expert
- Brenda Holder, Indigienous entrepreneur and leader, Former Chair of the Indigenous Toursim Association of Canada
- Christine Irick Winebrenner, Host, Soul of Travel Podcast and Founder, Lotus Sojourns
- Nora Livingstone, CEO, Animal Experience International, Expert in Animal Conservation, Consent-based travel and voluntourism
- Anna Pollock, Pioneer of Regenerative Tourism, Founder, Conscious Travel
- Carolyn Ray, CEO and Editor, JourneyWoman, Named one of the “Most Influential Women in Travel in 2023” by Travel Pulse, Innovator and Entrepreneur
- Shawna Robins, CEO, Kaia Health, Midlife health and wellness, International Best-Selling Author, Sleep Expert
- Libby Wildman, Financial planning expert supporting women entrepreneurs
Request a speaker: We are making it easy for you to have inclusive, diverse panels from this directory of women speakers. Conference, associations, non-profit organizations, women’s groups, libraries and event organizers are invited to submit requests for virtual or in person events via the Speaker’s Bureau website. You have the opportunity to help us make sure that events have a diversity of thought. Speakers are free to accept or decline the invitation to speak, and where required, negotiate their own fees. To request a speaker, visit our Speaker’s Bureau here.
Women over 50 in travel, join our Bureau: This is your opportunity to share your knowledge and experience in your field and contribute to ensuring that audiences benefit from diverse thoughts. Women with professional speaking experience are invited to submit an application to join the Bureau here. Our site only introduces conference organisers to speakers, the details of the speaking opportunities are for both parties to discuss and agree.
About Women over 50 in Travel
Women are the primary travel decision makers in travel, making 80-85% of all travel decisions. Women 50+ represent over $15 trillion in purchasing power and are experiencing the largest population growth over the next 10 years, according to a recent study conducted in the US by the Coca-Cola Group and Mass Mutual. JourneyWoman’s previous recent global study, “The Influence and Affluence of Solo Women 50+ in Travel”, published in December 2022, showed that 70% of women over 50 felt ignored and undervalued by the travel industry, despite representing trillions in spending power.
JourneyWoman regularly conducts surveys on safety, budgeting, travel experiences and group tour preferences which can be found here.
Founded in 1994, JourneyWoman™ is the world’s first solo female travel resource and one of the most trusted women’s travel brands in the world. JourneyWoman operates the world’s largest Women’s Travel Directory, providing women with hundreds of women-owned and women-friendly tours, retreats, accommodation and accommodations while supporting small tourism businesses around the world. To learn more, visit Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn. JourneyWoman is a registered trademark of Journeywoman Enterprises Inc.
Contact: Carolyn Ray, CEO, JourneyWoman, [email protected]
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