A vibrant diversity in any business is the key to ensuring a creatively productive workspace. As women continue to invent and reinvent themselves in the digital world, ArabiaTravelNews.com spoke to Aswani Nambarambath, COO of TPConnects Technologies, a new generation travel technology company that provides an innovative cloud based travel booking and distribution platform for airlines and travel agencies, to assess how the travel industry stacks up when it comes to gender equality and needs to be done to promote women leadership.
Nambarambath has been at the forefront of travel technology for over 11 years having started own Technology Development company at the age of 21, which she scaled with satisfied customers from across the world. The company was listed and recognized as one of the top 100 startups from Kerala in South India and listed under the ‘Startup India, Standup India’ Program. It was also incubated and run under the Kerala Startup Mission, the central agency of the Government of Kerala for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities, with the support of the Kerala IT mission.
At a time when technology entrepreneurs were relatively unheard of, Nambarambath became one of the first women entrepreneurs to take the leap and embark on her journey, paving the way for many to follow.
She believes that it is her passion for technology, innovative ideas, resilience, constant learning and working with like-minded people that drives her.
“Travel technology has enabled us with tools that can bring innovative ideas to life and transform the way we travel. At TP Connects, our vision is to bring forward new technologies and innovations that can empower travel agents and airlines to be better sellers. However, what we are doing is ultimately for the end customer and enabling their desire to travel.”
According to Nambarambath, women have a huge role to play in the transformation of travel technology, evident from the growing number of women holding key senior positions in travel tech today.
Nambarambath says, “Women bring so much more than diversity to the workplace. Besides generally providing an expanded talent pool, they bring an environment of fairness and equality, diversity of thought and decision-making, a competitive advantage which ensures profitability in the long run.
However many workplace realities show a different picture. A recent Global IT report titled ‘Cracking the Gender Code’ revealed that the proportion of women to men in tech roles has declined over the past 35 years, and half of young women who choose tech, drop out by the age of 35. The same study revealed that only 21 per cent of women said they believed the technology industry would give them thriving career opportunities.
“This is disparity at its peak. To keep up with the pace, it is essential to constantly reinvent ourselves to be able to reinvent technology and eventually have our clients do so too. This can be achieved by updating oneself with the required skills that will empower women to apply for senior management roles.”
“While embracing technology and choosing a technology-driven path is often due to early influences, be it in school or at home, it is never too late to aspire and up-skill oneself. In a technology driven environment, women making it beyond the middle management roles, inspire the younger women who are at the beginnings of their careers.”
“This allows for a systemic change.” she adds.
At the recently concluded World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Summit, which took place in Cancun, travel leaders from around the world pledged the need for women’s equality and boost female representation in leadership roles throughout Travel & Tourism. This can only be achieved by removing barriers, ensuring fair treatment, and encouraging greater financial, professional, and social independence to women employees.
“This is a significant step and huge boost for women in the travel and hospitality sector. Digital technology is constantly changing and so the type of skills required by employees are also evolving. Creating better mentor-ship, training programs can help boost technical abilities and create better morale among young women in the business.”
“It is also the need of the hour, especially coming out of a pandemic which has only widened the pay and opportunity gap in leadership roles for women in the industry,” she added.
Speaking about the growth of travel technology she said digital enhancements have made traveling today more affordable, accessible and convenient than ever before.
“Digitization has permeated through every category and aspect of travel, it is only natural that it must be given the highest priority and its workforce the highest regard.”
“When travel bookings shifted from the brick and mortar travel agency to online bookings – at a time when the internet was still picking popularity, we witnessed phenomenal growth and acceptance.
”Today, the technologies that we develop at TPConnects like NDCMarketplace, means going the extra mile to make the travel booking experience easy, professional and profitable for the airlines and travel agents, while creating something unique for the customer.”
As travel finds its new normal, embracing these new technologies will reduce the IT complexity, boost innovation and increase efficiency. This will also allow people to travel better and travel more.”