We sat down with Emma Douglas, a mentor in the Flight Centre Travel Group mentoring program. Working in the product team based out of Perth, Emma has nearly 11 years experience in the travel industry across a myriad of roles.
Passionate about supporting others in their career, we asked her to dive further into why she joined the program.
I have always enjoyed sharing in peoples successes and I love to teach and nurture those around me this has always played a big role in my personal and professional life.
I had hoped to help new first-year consultants grow in their roles both in confidence and knowledge – on a personal level I think deep down I would have loved to have had a mentor when I was coming through as a travel consultant so I am sharing my experiences and things that I would have liked to have had/known early on.
This is definitely a common thread with many mentors we meet – they often mentor because they simply wished they had a mentor way back when. But often they have experienced mentoring in some form, often informally, by a peer or someone close in their network. Emma was lucky enough to identify some in her career.
Over the years I have had many people who have mentored me. I think back to 2 people in particular – my very first Team Leader at Infinity helped me grow not just on a professional level as a travel consultant but on a personal level too – I had always struggled with my confidence and she really took this on board and helped me overcome this – to this day she remains a close friend.
The second was my aligned Area Manager when I moved into Product – his kind and caring nature mixed with his wealth of knowledge and fun outlook on life really inspired me and I always felt he had my back.
I have never seen any other organisation run a mentoring program – over the years I have worked for many travel companies and this is the first one I have ever heard of.
“I think the program really shows how much we care about our people and it is something I have always been passionate about.”
In the lead up to International Women’s Day, we spoke to Emma about her thoughts on why it is important to mentor women.
Women mentoring other women I think is one of the most powerful ways we can build each other up – I honestly believe as more successful women share their life lessons, knowledge and compassion with those just starting out we all can grow – similar to the importance of having a positive female role model as a child I feel having strong, passionate and successful women mentors through the later stages of life and in your career will have a lasting effect.
When I first started in the industry I did not see a lot of women in influential positions, you rarely heard their stories – through Flight Centre, I have really seen this change and more and more women reaching higher heights and not being afraid to share their successes with each other and the industry
As a dedicated and exemplary mentor, we wanted to know what she would like to see in her mentees by the conclusion of the program and how they have grown so far.
I would hope by the end of the program my mentees have the ability to mentor others – I really believe in if you can be a strong role model for someone they can pass this along – I would love to see them succeeded and if it is not in the Travel Industry, then in life.
My mentees have already made huge progress in their careers, one of which is now an Assistant Store Manager. My other mentee is growing in confidence and is now mentoring new consultants in her store – she is always shocked at how much she actually knows when she teaches others.
At Mentorloop, we see this often; there’s a certain a-ha moment that emerging mentors often have where they realise they don’t need to know everything, just have enough experience to share with others to guide them.
I am happy to say that they both have become personal friends outside of work and of course, we plan to stay in touch after the program finishes!
As for my own mentoring style and what I have learned about myself, I have learned that I am really passionate about other peoples successes and feel so much pride when they come to me to tell me what they have achieved. I really invest in my mentees and I feel their successes are even more valuable than my own.
International Women’s Day
With International Women’s Day fast approaching, now is the perfect time to think about how you could deploy a bespoke mentor program to better support your people. Get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in hearing more about our special IWD package.