Spotlight on Carmen Smith, 2021 WINiT Top 50 Women in Travel Recipient

Carmen SmithIn her role as senior manager of travel and events for ICF, Carmen directs the day-to-day operations of the company’s global travel program including travel management, corporate housing and meetings & events. She is a member of the BWBTA Chapter of GBTA and has served on committees for both WINiT by GBTA and the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE).

Are things getting better for women in the business travel industry or is there still work to be done?
I am encouraged and hopeful for the future. But, there is definitely work to be done, especially for women of color. I would like to see an increased number of executives of color within the industry and not just someone to check a box.

What do you love about being in business travel?
What’s not to love? Travel is so dynamic and there are many layers to it. It’s not only challenging, but exciting. The comradery is amazing and I learn something new every day.

Who or what inspires you to continue working hard, even on your most challenging days?
Knowing that what I do makes a difference is what keeps me going. It’s sometimes frustrating when others can’t see what you see. But this presents an opportunity to shine and share my expertise by offering business cases explaining how my recommendations benefit the company as a whole and not just the travel and events program.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your career?
On your way up, take someone with you. When you arrive, open the door for others.