March is Women’s History Month—an important opportunity to amplify and appreciate the accomplishments of women around the world.
Here at U.S. Travel, we are taking this opportunity to highlight women who have shown immense leadership in the travel and tourism industry.
Keiko Matsudo Orrall, Executive Director for the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, shared what Women’s History Month means to her and the ways her destination is honoring the contributions of women throughout Massachusetts.
What does Women’s History Month mean to you and how do you celebrate it?
The contributions of women throughout history are finally being recognized and celebrated. Women’s History Month is a way to highlight the important contributions of women and find inspiration for the future. Recently our office published a tourism booklet entitled “Historic Women Trailblazers of Massachusetts” in honor of the 100th anniversary of a woman’s right to vote. I will celebrate Women’s History Month this year by touring my way through our state and reflecting on how these women made a difference. I have visited many of the sites within the booklet and I am excited about visiting even more this month.
How have you witnessed or experienced the roles of women change in society over the past decade(s)?
Over the past decade, I have seen women rise to seats of power that could only be dreamed of when I was young. Today, there are more women running for office and in the boardroom than ever before. It is exciting to see that women are standing up to be counted. This means more opportunities to open doors for change, but we still have more work to do.
Data shows that women are leaving the workforce at the highest rate in decades. What do you consider the biggest challenges for women in the workforce and what can be done to address them and empower more women?
Childcare can be a challenge in the workplace as many women are the primary caregivers for their children. Low-paying jobs and the lack of leave benefits can affect their decision to leave the workforce. Incentivizing pay and providing work flexibility could help women find balance and reasons to stay.
Can you tell us about a role model who has inspired you? What’s your favorite piece of advice you’ve received or like to give?
My parents are my role models. Throughout their lives they have been committed to each other and what really matters—their family, faith and friends. Success is determined not by how much money you make or how high you climb on the corporate ladder, but rather by who you have loved and who loves you. My favorite piece of advice is: “Treat others the way you would like to be treated.”