Editor’s Note: March is Women’s History Month and throughout the month, check this space to read about Amadeus women who are making a difference across our company, community and industry.
Name: Kristel Lataste
Title: Head of SME Customer Solution Strategy & Americas, Travel Channels
Years in travel / technology: 17
Years with Amadeus: 17
What is the most important characteristic a woman in travel tech needs to succeed?
To any woman working in any industry around the world, I say, “Always remain true to yourself.” Women should be viewed by our humanness – not our gender. Some women think that adopting a masculine attitude, style or way of thinking helps them be viewed more seriously. Forget it! Embrace your femininity – high heels, dresses and all – and never be afraid to show your emotions. Your “true you” will always shine through, so why pretend to be someone you’re not?
How do you give back to the world, and why is it important?
It starts with a simple “thank you” and showing gratitude. We were born to connect with others through the exchange of ideas, knowledge, culture and more. I strongly believe that sharing, caring and loving is the only way to make our world a sustainable place.
Who is your greatest female teacher, mentor or role model?
Madonna – I couldn’t resist! All our lives, women have been taught to conform to a set of standards that society deems acceptable. How many times have we been told to set aside our own goals for someone else’s, to be a people pleaser, to strive for acceptance by “the group?”
These experiences chip away at the essence of who we are. Such attitudes force us into the land of the ordinary – where all the normal people go. That is, unless you’re extraordinary, like Madonna!
Madonna created a “landless nation” by breaking barriers that elevated music, lifestyle, attitude and self-empowerment to record-breaking heights. Throughout her career, Madonna has re-invented herself to address the ever-changing needs of her constituents and the marketplace. Her innovative spirit has led her to break barriers in music, entertainment, human rights and entrepreneurship. With her authentic style, distinctive persona and unapologetic bravado, Madonna has shown the world what it means to be a legendary living leader.
What advice do you give other women who aspire to lead?
It takes courage to resist the pressure to comply with rules and expectations others put upon you. Play your own game, stand up, take action, and raise your voice. As we do not succeed alone, make your voice the voice of others. Leaders rise by lifting others.