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Trailblazing Women Unite at the Inaugural WORTH Leadership Summit in Western Canada

The WORTH Leadership Summit for women of recreation, tourism and hospitality drew more than 265 women to the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver, BC Canada on May 13th, 2024.


worth leadership summit women in travel

This was the first time in Western Canada that women in the sector have gathered for a full day summit. The event saw speakers including former Accor CEO Heather McCrory, Accent Inns CEO, Mandy Farmer and the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, Lana Popham.

Mandy Farmer, CEO of Accent Inns takes the stage for her keynote address on Leading with Love. She shared how some of her bad ideas became her best ideas, like taking over horrible properties and turning them into funky hotel destinations like Hotel Zed, despite objections from her Board.
Mandy Farmer, CEO of Accent Inns takes the stage for her keynote address on Leading with Love. She shared how some of her bad ideas became her best ideas, like taking over horrible properties and turning them into funky hotel destinations like Hotel Zed, despite objections from her Board.

Breakout sessions included topics on mental health, safer spaces to prevent sexual harassment, and research from Minerva BC. Other topics included career success, netWORTH: closing the pay gap, and a popular panel on speaking up.

Joanna Jagger of WORTH, Richelle Akimov of GFS, Trina Notman of Accent Inns, Lizzy Ojo Martens of Colour the Trails and Shobna Kannusamy of Soirette gather for a photo after the Speak Up Panel. Each shared their story of speaking up and how to shed the labels that come with being brave.
Joanna Jagger of WORTH, Richelle Akimov of GFS, Trina Notman of Accent Inns, Lizzy Ojo Martens of Colour the Trails and Shobna Kannusamy of Soirette gather for a photo after the Speak Up Panel. Each shared their story of speaking up and how to shed the labels that come with being brave.

YVR airport's Mary Point and Top Chef Siobhan Detkavich shared Indigenous wisdom as hosts for the day.


At the speaking up panel, an empty chair was part of the stage where delegates could join to share their own story. Ashwariya Pillai approached the stage to share that she was thinking of changing her nametag to "Ash" at her job at the Vancouver Convention Centre as tourists had a hard time pronouncing her full name. After watching the panel, she decided she was going to honour her name and not shrink to make others comfortable.
At the speaking up panel, an empty chair was part of the stage where delegates could join to share their own story. Ashwariya Pillai approached the stage to share that she was thinking of changing her nametag to "Ash" at her job at the Vancouver Convention Centre as tourists had a hard time pronouncing her full name. After watching the panel, she decided she was going to honour her name and not shrink to make others comfortable.

Tourism Minister Lana Popham took the stage to speak with 265 delegates about the role the Provincial Government needs to play in equity.
Tourism Minister Lana Popham took the stage to speak with 265 delegates about the role the Provincial Government needs to play in equity.


WORTH assembled some of the top bosses of the business (aka: our Beyoncés!) to share wisdom. Some of our favourite takeaways: 

  • Encourage a culture add, not a culture 'fit'

  • The best remedy to close the stress cycle is great leadership

  • Lead with Love - always

  • Bad ideas could be the best ideas 

  • Speak up, even if your voice shakes

"We hope to have women from all over the world join us in Vancouver for the next one," remarked  Joanna Jagger, WORTH President. Follow WORTH Association for dates and more info!


WORTH President and Joanna Jagger and MC Siobhan Detkavich presented a surprise scholarship to two deserving International students, Sara Alaviyeh and Maria Fernanda Bohorquez Diaz.
WORTH President and Joanna Jagger and MC Siobhan Detkavich presented a surprise scholarship to two deserving International students, Sara Alaviyeh and Maria Fernanda Bohorquez Diaz.

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