Soul of Travel: Women's Empowerment and Travel Podcast

Building Resilience and Opportunity with Christina Lawford

June 08, 2023 Christine Winebrenner Irick, hosted by Lotus Sojourns Season 4 Episode 132
Soul of Travel: Women's Empowerment and Travel Podcast
Building Resilience and Opportunity with Christina Lawford
Soul of Travel Podcast
Become a supporter of the show!
Starting at $3/month
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to the final installment of this special interview series on the Soul of Travel Podcast. We are excited to partner with Women in Travel (CIC) to bring you exclusive conversations with their community members to set the stage for the upcoming International Women in Travel and Tourism Forum to be held on June 22nd at Google headquarters in London. 

This partnership is important because of the aligned missions of Soul of Travel and Women in Travel, founded by past podcast guest and award-winning founder Alessandra Alonso. Women in Travel (CIC) is a UK-based social enterprise dedicated to empowering all women using travel, tourism, and hospitality as a force for good. They offer employability, entrepreneurship, mentorship, and male allyship programs and communities. 

In this episode, Christine hosts a soulful conversation with Christina Lawford, Founder and CEO of Diamond Air International and Co-Founder and CEO of Evolve Car. In 2022, Christina became part of the book Unstoppable Women, telling the story of Female Entrepreneurs and their respective journeys through business and life. She also serves on the Executive Board for Women in Travel CIC. 

Christine and Christina discuss:

  • Improving the air and rail travel experiences with custom meet and assist services
  • Women in leadership in travel and aviation
  • Creating meaningful and reliable employment in the travel industry for women who have experienced homelessness, domestic abuse, or gender violence
  • Resilience in business through challenging moments

Join Christine now for this soulful conversation with Christina Lawford.


To read our episode blog post, access a complete transcript, see full show notes, and find resources and links mentioned in this episode, head to the Soul of Travel Website. 

LOVE these soulful conversations? We rely on listener support to produce our podcast! Make a difference by making a donation to Lotus Sojourns on PayPal.  Are you a Soul of Travel subscriber? Click here to subscribe to Apple Podcasts, so you don’t miss the latest episodes!

Listener reviews help expand our reach and help us rise up the ranks! Rate and review your favorite episodes on Apple Podcasts or your preferred podcast app.


To learn more about Diamond Air International, visit the website!

Connect with Christina on LinkedIn, or follow Diamond Air International on Twitter or Facebook

Looking for ways to be a part of the Lotus Sojourns community? Learn more here!

Find Lotus Sojourns on Facebook, or join the Lotus Sojourns Collective, our FB community for like-hearted women.

Follow us on Instagram: @lotussojourns and @souloftravelpodcast.

Credits. Christine Winebrenner Irick (Host, creator, editor). Christina Lawford (Guest). Original music by Clark Adams. Editing, production, and content writing by Carly Oduardo.

Support the show

Christine: Welcome to Soul of Travel podcast. I'm so excited today to be joined by Christina Lawford, who is the founder and CEO at Diamond Air International and Evolve Car. And this is also the fourth and final conversation in our special series leading up to International Women Travel and Tourism Forum in London. Just going to be happening shortly in June. So I'm so excited to get going and hear from you. Christina, welcome to the podcast.

Christina: Thank you, Christine. Thanks very much for having me.

Christine: Thank you. Well, to kick this off, I'd just love to give you the opportunity to introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about what you do, um, and your company, and then we'll go from there.

Christina: Sure, yeah. So, um, I'm the founder and CEO of Diamond Air International, um, which is a global meet, essentially a meeting assist, uh, company at, um, airports, but we're already all also at train stations. And we have a very top tier, um, product, which is called Airport by Invitation. Um, and I'm also the co-founder and c e o of, um, a newer company that I established, um, called Evolve Car, which is, um, provides, again, premium, but, uh, sustainable zero emission, um, Shafer car transfers and sharing community, um, which is again, centric to airports.

Christine: Great. Thank you so much. Um, well, I would also love to hear from you how you actually got into the tourism, hospitality, hospitality or aviation industry and why you saw this as a place that you could really work to create a positive impact or a shift within the industry.

Christina: Yeah. Well, so I, I, I'm not gonna lie, um, which I'm sure is good for your podcast. Um, I, you know, I I think that, um, it, it, the, the traveling tourism industry for me was something I fell into. It was one one of life's, you know, uh, life's rich tapestry. Um, it took me in that direction. However, um, initially after the, uh, opportunity arose and it, it presented itself to me. I saw a bigger opportunity. So, um, I started out at, at Heathrow Airport, and I began to see how I could make a difference in terms of the way people traveled through airports. Um, and what I mean by that is, um, so I mean, I started at Heathrow, which is one of the world's busiest airports. Um, and pretty much everyone who's only one passes through Heathrow to come in and go through London as, as a key gateway. Um, and I just saw the, the challenges that we're having, getting through and navigating the airport. And I just thought, oh, you know what? Someone really needs to start, um, some sort of premium maintenance assist service. So if the back of the business I already had at Heathrow, that's exactly what I did and I started to go into.

Christine: Yeah. Um, and so to explain maybe for our listeners a little bit more about what that means, because I think that's something that, um, travelers maybe aren't accustomed to. What service are you offering or how are you assisting people in navigating, um, through, through that chaos or that hectic nature of the airport?

Christina: Yeah. Okay. So Diamond Air is essentially a premium, um, a premium cabin, uh, you know, a a premium service. Um, but we do also cater to elderly travelers and perhaps, or perhaps young travelers or, you know, mom with kids and lots of bags. We we're also, they, we, we are quite, um, accessible in terms of price point. So actually we have quite a broad demographic. So it's not just the super elite that are traveling, but essentially what we do is we meet customers, uh, on a arrival departure, and when they're transiting through and we just assist with the whole process. So whether it's meeting 'em off the aircraft, whisking them through immigration customs, assisting with their bags, getting them to their final mode of transport, or it's meeting them on departure, um, making sure everything's done in advance, they're checked in, they've got the seats they want, again, expediting them through the security and the passenger pinch points and just making it more luxurious service really, where people don't have to worry or think about what they're doing. They just, they just get, uh, looked after from, from, from, you know, plain side to curbside, as it were.

Christine: Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. And, um, when we first met, I shared that I had what I thought was an experience similar to what you offered in Egypt, um, many, many ago. And it was so incredible to just have that care that you're describing. Like, I just got off the airplane with a group, someone walked up and greeted us, took all of our passports, put us in this lovely lounge where we had some tea, and probably 15 or 20 minutes later, they came back and handed us all our passports and we walked out to our Yeah. Our van. And, um, it, especially in a, in certain destinations where you might feel a little uncomfortable navigating customs or just if you're weary after a long time of travel, I feel, I feel like for me, that just really not only elevated my travel experience, but like provided so much ease.

So I, I love that, you know, this is a, something that you're stepping into creating a space for or have been doing for quite some time, not really just stepping into, but, um, well, in, in terms of the International Women in Travel and Tourism Forum and, um, women in Travel, I know that you connected with Alessandra Alonzo, um, who is the founder to support her efforts really in creating impact for marginalized communities and creating employment in the industry. Um, and that you also spend a lot of time volunteering with, um, charity crisis over the holidays each year. So I'd love to hear from you why this is important to you, and then give you the opportunity to share a little bit about the work that you are doing with women in Travel, who you're working with and what you're working to create.

Christina: Yeah, I'd love to, cuz I'm so excited and I'm such a massive cheerleader for everything that Alessandra does. So, um, yeah, it's, it is great to have this platform to talk a bit more about it. So I think sort of going back to really, um, the, the foundations for me, so I, um, I've, you, my business is, you know, pretty much 24 7, it's operational. And, um, many years ago when I was a lot younger, I was made a kind of a bit of a promise to myself and said, when my business doesn't need me on the airport anymore at Christmas time, you know, I really wanted to do something a bit more worthwhile than just eating too many min pies and washing bad tv. So, um, I literally one year just decided to sign myself. When the business didn't need me working anymore, I, I decided to sign myself up for a London based charity called Crisis, which is homeless charity for, uh, single people.

Um, and I spent the first, last year, I think it was my 17th Christmas, um, working with them, we invariably do six to eight days, um, over the festive period, um, working with, um, rough Sleepers and the homeless in London. But the first 10 years of that, um, I, um, ran the women's shelter. Now, um, they were probably some of the most inspiring women I I've ever met in my life. Actually. I, I have to say the, the mixture between the volunteers that give up their time, incredible, and the women themselves who were there to give some respite to and help with move on plans, the women were just so, so inspiring. I think that's where I really first lent the term resilience. Um, and, um, so it's always been close to my heart in terms of, um, women that are either sex trafficked or, um, domestic violence or, you know, getting to themselves into situation where they do end up, um, rough sleeping.

They're, they're homeless. And when I, um, many years after kind of fast forwarding, I, um, I was introduced to Alessandra at Women in Travel and I really felt quite passionate about what she was trying to do and the mission that women in travel c i c were on. Um, and when she started to explain to me about one of the programs and the projects that she was looking at, was to find women who are more marginalized, um, and wouldn't normally be given opportunities to enter into employment in some, some areas in, in, in the travel industry. It just felt like my two worlds were colliding. So my Christmas world and my, my, my travel world, so I, the first charity that I introduced, um, um, Alessandra t was Crisis, but I do also work with some other women's charities that, that, that help support women mainly from sex, sex trafficked, um, backgrounds.

Um, and it was great to, um, give Alessandra access to these women in these pools of women that really are, as I said, very resilient, but they are really are looking to get out of circumstances and situations that that really hasn't been their fault that they've got into and really to better their lives. And I think there's a certain loyalty you get as well if you can give these ladies opportunities and believe in them. Um, so that was really how the, the project initially happened. And I know that since that, you know, I, I can't put the credit down. To me, a alessandra's done a wonderful job of connecting with lots of women's charities out there to, to find women that are perhaps more challenged in terms of getting into these career certain opportunities. Um, and, uh, I've been working with, uh, Alessandra in terms of developing the whole project.

Um, we are actually looking now, um, we've, we, we've been building a, a project out called Elevator, um, which is about, um, more perhaps a luxury sector, which, you know, we are in, in terms of travel, um, and building out whole, um, courses and, um, facilities and all sorts of great stuff where we can get these women into employment. Now, diamond Day, we've, we've already given, um, some of these ladies, um, jobs, um, which has been fabulous, and to see them glow, grow and flourish and, you know, it's been brilliant. Um, so yeah, it's something that, um, it's just been great to be involved with, but I think it's part of a much, much bigger, um, opportunity as well. So it's something that's really growing and evolving. Mm-hmm.

Christine: <affirmative>, thank you for sharing that. I, I have really loved to see, as you mentioned, the, the way that Alessandro has been able to kind of expand impact by creating opportunities like this, especially for women. Um, as many of my listeners know listening to the podcast, it's, there are more women in the tourism and hospitality industry than pretty much any other industry in the world. However, they're often, um, at entry level positions Yeah. Or even working in unpaid positions within families and indu in the industry and family jobs and restaurants and, you know, b and bs and, uh, that kind of, um, position. But looking at trying to create not only more entry into the industry, but then as you mentioned, elevate into other higher positions or in maybe opportunities that they wouldn't have access to otherwise without someone that can just open those doors.

And as you mentioned, so many of the women are so determined and driven and, you know, and capable of what, because of life circumstances, they've just had doors that have kind of closed to them. And so I think it's so important to create these opportunities. And I was reminded of an experience I had recently traveling in Switzerland, and when I went to travel there, it was one of the first times traveling after the pandemic and certainly after this podcast. And I really wanted to think about how I could support women while I was traveling. And so I had Googled hotels in Zurich that were women owned, and then kind of also looked at social impact and tourism in Zurich. And I found this chain, um, and one of their properties, um, I think it's called the Josephine House, has half of the rooms set aside for women who have, um, been victims of de domestic abuse or other circumstances.

So they can come and they have a place to stay, but then they also have a program through the government where then they can start training women to work in the properties. And they have three different hotels and they have quite a lot of different programs as well. And for me, I just thought, this is such a really inspiring program that could actually really be easily implemented anywhere and offers the opportunity for businesses to serve communities and also create opportunities. And like you said, find employees that are actually probably going to be the most loyal employees because they've been in an environment that's so supportive of supportive of their success and their growth.

Christina: Absolutely. Yeah. And I, I, I, I think, you know, from my experience working with these women as well, you know, there, there's also an element that, um, I think because they have dealt with so much, you know, what is a challenge, you know, so I think they're, um, really quite, not just the resilience is there, but actually I think they can deal with a lot in quite pressurized environments as well. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, so, yeah.

Christine: Yeah, I think that is a really interesting way of thinking about that. Um, well, the next thing I really wanted to talk to you about is being a woman in this industry that is typically very male dominated, especially when you started the aviation industry, looked very different than it does today. Um, I would love to hear from you what challenges you faced then in starting your business, and then also reflecting back on your career, if there's something that you would love to share with your younger self, or if you had a room full of women who are starting out in the aviation industry, what would you like to share with them?

Christina: Wow, that's such a good question. Um, uh, yeah. So I think, I think firstly when I, um, started, so when I started my business I was 18 and, um, I probably had a really naive positive outlook on <laugh> on the world, which is great. And, and to a degree, I, I, I looked that down tro that I d don't still have that positivity, but I think that working in, um, uh, an airport environment like Heathrow, it, it, it, there, there's a lot of legacy there. Um, when I started, um, I don't think any station managers of any, the airlines were women. Um, I think everyone in the senior positions in the airport, men, um, and I really had this belief that I wanted to change the status quo. And I had a wonderful customer base who would always ask me, but Christina, why can't we do this?

Why can't we do that? And of course, if I couldn't come up with a good answer, why not? I would find out why not, and I wanted to change it. And these sort of environments are quite hostile to change. So, um, and, and the other really interesting dynamic, I think, Christine, when I look back is that I was very fortunate that, um, I started to, my, my customer base started to be creative from the music and entertainment industry. So we're talking about really the world's most high profile people. And, um, when this young girl comes skipping into the airport thinking she can change the world, and she comes with the world's most high profile people, <laugh>, it, it, it doesn't always fall, um, fall particularly well with everyone, which is we, which is sad, but the way it is, the reality. So I think that there were a lot of, where perhaps there were legacy v i p teams within Air Airlines, um, you know, and perhaps the larger flood carrier, should we say, without putting names to those airlines.

Um, they, um, were really, really hostile. Um, all they could see was Diamond Air and Christina's team coming in with these people. And, and literally, uh, we were just looking after everyone, you know, the world's greatest. And, and so that brought a lot of, uh, attention to us, but not necessarily, um, favorable or people welcoming that. Um, I think the first time I, um, went to the PALS at Beat Heathrow and said, could I please get an air side pass to look after my clients' team from the aircraft? I think I was laughed out the ID center very quickly. And I think there was, uh, a statement to follow something about the hell will freeze over first before you get an Airside Pass. So now we fast forward 15 years <laugh>, and, um, not only did we, um, have airside access that he threw the first company ever that weren't appended to one airline or a ground handle.

We're an independent commercial company, and we had that a access to, which I'm still so, so proud of as an achievement, but actually I now head up, um, and chair of the association of Mainten Assist Companies where we've actually paved away for other organizations to come in. And now, um, I head up associations globally in terms of where this product takes place. And if there's other, other, um, peers and, and organizations in our partner network that are having challenges in some of perhaps more government, um, owned airports that are operated and there's monopolies, perhaps, then we sometimes help them support them through similar challenges. But I mean, what I would say, looking back in terms of, and I wouldn't say for a moment I've been, you know, the victim, I never would say as a woman, but I think that what I look back and I feel sad about is that these station managers who just were so scared of change, rather than running me off the airport, they should have been mentors and they should be there, the ones to listen to people like me at my age and to help support. Um, and rather than going, you know, and, and it was very much like, what, what, what's she trying to do? And, you know, and, and I, I think that's what I feel saddest about is they are the ones, they have a responsibility if they are in these senior positions, pay it forward, think about the people that are coming up because the world will progress. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, so you either kind of get on board and it will change and you've gotta adapt or, or, or, or don't mm-hmm.

Christine: <affirmative>. Yeah. I think looking for great mentors is such an important thing when speaking with people entering the industry. And I know for myself, I really try to step into that if people have questions about getting into the area of tourism where I work or, you know, are really interested in learning about an association or if it's a great fit for them or who they could connect. So more like I really try to create time for that because that's the people that I wish that I would've met when I was younger to ask those questions, find those connections.

Christina: Absolutely. Christine. Yeah.

Christine: And it, yeah, and it doesn't do any, any disservice to any of my time. Like it's usually the most rewarding to, to connect with people who are really excited about getting in the industry and have these innovative ideas. And, and then like you said, they, they will then it seems end up creating something that you needed that you can build up, you know, your business even upon to a greater level or, um, that sense of connection and community is so important. And instead of trying to kind of hold your seat and keep everyone else down around you, I think people are really shifting to the fact that we would all be better served if everyone had access to contributing and bringing their ideas forward and, and having the connections they need to succeed versus trying to make our, our position of power the most important position.

Christina: Yeah. No, absolutely. And I, I, I think, you know, as well, when I was younger be because, you know, I did start to really elevate in that whole environment and build a business, and I had a lot of employees and, and some of the comments were just so derogative, you know, especially from the, the, the male community should we say about, well, how is she doing that and how is she doing that? And oh, it, it's, it was just really toxic, but, but things are, you know, I I I think things are changing. Yeah. I'm pleased to say.

Christine: Yeah. I, I, I feel like that I could, I could recognize that as well. Yeah. Um, the next thing I wanted to talk to you about, and you've kind of tapped onto this in a couple of spaces, is resilience. Um, and I know that you were a part of a book called Unstoppable Women by, um, Griselda Tag obo, and she was really working to share the stories of successful female business women to really show how we can do it, how we can kind of gain strength and wisdom and determination to push forward and create and bring these things, bring our businesses to life. So I would love to talk to you about that. And, you know, we've talked a little bit about the resilience you needed earlier in your career, um, but you kind of mentioned to me this thing that was always in the back of your mind of like, what is the worst case scenario in my business, and would I be able to get through that? And for many of us, you know, that's, you know, what, if something happens that puts a full stop to our business. And so working in the tourism industry, we obviously all just, you know, experienced this worst case scenario. Um, so I would love to talk to you about resilience in general, but you know, kind of what the pandemic brought into your company and how that became a catalyst for you to even move in different directions and continue to be innovative in your business.

Christina: Yeah, I, I think, um, I'm really glad that you've touched on this because I think it's so, so important that you know it, I know it's a bit cliche, but I think, you know, what doesn't kill you does make you stronger, you know, without, without any doubt. And, and, you know, I have had challenges, you know, through my career and, and I'm running a business. Um, but I think the, um, the pandemic was, um, absolutely, as you say, a a time that just kind of stopped everyone in their tracks, and it was really the worst case scenario. So I think for me, it was always a feeling of, oh my God, you know, what, what happens if I lost my business? What happens if it all kind of comes crashing down? And I think, you know, we can probably all put it down to pretty much a date in the diary when exactly that happened, and we all just fell off this cliff.

Um, and I think that, um, initially there was a lot of panic. Um, uh, I've, I was on the, at the time I was on the board, um, and, um, I became, I got voted in this chair for the B T A, which is Business Travel Association. So, uh, I'm the chair for the industry partner board. And I think we were all getting on those conference calls and l looking at each other from every sector of the travel industry going, what the hell? What do we do now? And, um, and I did find that supportive, you know, to to, to have other people and peers around, because actually no one really knew, but at least there was that feeling of comradery and we're all in the, in the, in, in the same boat. But I think that I just knew that I couldn't let, um, you know, things fail.

And I had got so far, and again, it's a bit cliche, but you can't just get so far to just suddenly go, right. You know, that's it. This is, this is, this is the end. Um, and I think, um, what was interesting for us as an organization was that, um, the covid testing became suddenly an overnight huge factor in, well, if you are actually gonna travel, this is what you need to do. And everyone, our clients started, uh, coming to us and saying, do you know where we can get covid testing? And, and the big problem in that, that market space, Christine, was that there was loads of covid testing, but the problem was that actually you couldn't, if you were traveling on a Tuesday and you needed a PCR test, there was nowhere to go and get one on a Sunday 40 hours before and et cetera, et cetera.

So people were actually tra planning their traveler around their covid testing and not the covid testing around the travel. So I just thought, you know what? So, um, I actually, um, spoke to my, uh, management team and knows not on Fair End said, look, I think I've got an idea, but this is gonna take a bit of work. Um, and we literally had just moved into new offices that heath throw to new offices that suddenly we didn't need. So I repurposed the space, um, and created some, some clinics. Um, and I actually, uh, recruited some nurses from the nhs. Um, and we formed partnerships with a couple of laboratories, um, that could do particularly quick turnaround times for us. Um, and we, we went pivoted into covid testing. It was actually, uh, almost like running a startup. It, it, it was just within a business.

It was another business, and it was virtually a startup. We adapted and I think, um, from start to finish, we did not have one person who didn't get the results in a timely manner, who didn't make their flight, um, in an uncomfortable time. We didn't have one failure. And what was important for us was we were still gonna be a Diamond Air when we came out. We weren't just a, a, a popup covid testing company who could disappear after the pandemic. We had to keep our integrity, we had to keep our customers, and, you know, we had to keep our standards. So that's really what we did. Um, so, uh, that got us through, and I'm, I'm, I'm so, so pleased to say that. Um, and I'm really proud of what we all did. And, uh, you know, we, we saved a huge amount of jobs, um, and also it gave us a platform to bounce out of the pandemic a lot quicker.

So I'm really pleased to say, you know, we've just finished our financial year end, and actually, even though we were coming outta Covid, we had our best year ever. Um, and so we're actually probably more efficient as an organization, but I do think as well that resilience isn't about one person. You know, resilience really is about your people that you've got around you and finding that, that, again, that community, that that, that you know your people and, and that, I think that's what real resilience is really about, actually. It, it's not down to one person or individual. It's about people collectively in a group getting together and making it through challenging circumstances.

Christine: Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah, I was just thinking that it feels like one person. It's kind of just like grit and tenacity, <laugh> and just like doing whatever you can to survive, but it's not necessarily creating something that's thriving out of it. But the resiliency is, like you said, this ability to kind of come together cohesively and adapt and persevere, that feels more like a thriving place to be. And so,

Christina: Absolutely. And, and I think a, a couple of other opportunities that came outta it, I mean, I think a lot of people started to have conversations and get together that wouldn't normally, and that that was competitors and people in my field. So through that, um, and, and I think probably off the back of Covid, I don't think I would've been as big and brave to have suddenly I did my first acquisition last year on a, on, on another company, and then we started another huge project at Heathrow, um, which is again, just evolving the whole, um, concept of how people travel. And I, I think I have to say that I don't know if I'd have done either of those, Christine, if it wasn't for actually getting through, um, you know, the pandemic and making it through and just having that feeling of actually, you know, I'm quite courageous now, <laugh>. Yeah. So, you know, hey, bring it on.

Christine: Yeah. And then also knowing that you have the trust in your team to say, okay, here's, here's something else that I want to create. And, you know, you know, you know how they're going to be able to handle that or take that on, or that you're gonna be able to grow in order to, that's a really good point.

Christina: To

Christine: Bring something else that's true to, to life. Um, well thank you so much for sharing all of this with us. Um, I am so excited, um, to share this conversation with our listeners. Uh, I hope people are getting really excited for the International Women Travel and Tourism Forum. And if they haven't already registered, they definitely need to look into joining us there, because I know there's gonna be so many great conversations like this one. And it, I think, you know, as we mentioned about getting people together and innovations, I think these spaces are the places where some of these shifts can happen when we align ourselves with other women that are really working to create the change that I think so many of us are. Um, absolutely. Before we end the conversation, I have just two more rapid fire kind of questions that I usually end my normal podcast with, so I want to share those with you. Uh, the first is, what are you reading right now?

Christina: Uh, actually it's kind of not connected, but it is kind of connected to some of what we've been talking about. But actually, uh, week before last, I was over in the Middle East, Christine and I tend to find that when I'm traveling, that triggers my interest in somewhere or something I wanna read about or understand more. But I think Middle East, uh, fascinating and as great place it was. And we traveled through a lot of the gcc, uh, countries. I still, I kept having the same conversation with people about the women in Saudi. And even though, um, I didn't travel to Saudi myself, but I went to most of the, the other countries, um, in the Middle East, and they all kept having the same conversation, but, but we are not Saudi and this is what happens. And, and just suddenly having these normal conversations with people about, oh, they've just allowed women to drive and allowed women to have their bank accounts the first time, and finding myself having a normal conversation back to these people going, oh, really? That's really interesting. And then I'm thinking, what have I just heard? So I actually started reading a book off that called, um, daring to Drive. Um, and it, it is about, uh, a woman who became, without knowing it, really just a bit of an activist in terms of, you know, um, really progressing things forward and, and, and yeah. And I'm becoming a driver out there, which said, seems a bit extreme to talk about, but it was, it was just something that really fascinated me to understand a bit more.

Christine: Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, thank you for sharing that. I, I love finding either fiction or non-fiction around a place that I'm traveling as well to just love it.

Christina: Yeah. Dive

Christine: In and find more context for the places that you're traveling to. Um, well the last question is really just giving you the space to recognize another woman in the industry. Soul of Travel is really, um, that is what we're dedicated to is creating a space for, for women in, in, in the industry. So if there's someone you would like to recognize, I'd love to give you the

Christina: Speech. Ooh, there. Yeah, that's a tricky one. I mean, I think, uh, there were probably, when I was growing up, as I said, it was very male dominated and there were less women, I think, um, that were in more senior positions or, you know, that you could look up to. I think now I feel that actually some of those women I really admire more my peers and women. I, I stand shoulder to shoulder three, um, and, uh, I think one woman in particular, I would have to say shout out is Edwina cela. Now, she, I'm fortunate enough to say that she's actually working in my team now, but, um, Edwina was actually heading up the a o C at London. Heathrow, the a O C is the airline operators committee. She, um, was basically the conduit between Heathrow airport sea operator and every single airline.

So you're talking 80, 90 airlines that Heathrow and everything that they needed and, and all the, you know, different facets to go into, rang an airport, but when she first started in that role, you know, she would walk in and they would just turn around and say, so you are here to take the notes. And I think for what she did and the changes she brought, um, to the aviation industry, I think, yeah, she needs to be commended. But as I said, I'm very, very lucky now because actually she's, she's working in our team at Diamond Air. So

Christine: Yeah. Thank you so much for, for sharing, um, that with us and as you mentioned that, um, I was just reflecting back on my conversation with Eliza Securi, um, who is a part of this series as well. And she said how many times she walked into a room and she was the person asked to take the notes even though she was there to, you know, be in the leadership team or lead the meeting. And so people listening definitely go back and listen to that episode cuz we talked specifically about that, um, what that means for women in leadership roles as well. But, uh, thank you so much again for joining me. I can't wait to see you soon and I really appreciate your time.

Christina: I've really enjoyed it. Thanks, Christine.

Christine: Thank you.