Spotlight on Marilyn Markham, 2021 WINiT Top 50 Women in Travel Recipient

Marilyn MarkhamMarilyn Markham is the Head of the Salesforce Centre of Excellence at American Express Global Business Travel (GBT). In her role, she builds the operational platform necessary to enable modern digital experiences to manage travel for colleagues, business travelers and travel managers. Marilyn moved from London, UK, in 2018 to work in GBT’s New York area office. However, she is no stranger to international relocations or the travel industry. She has lived in 5 countries prior to this move, speaks French, Spanish and English, and has been in the travel industry for 15 years. Travel is not just a necessity for Marilyn. Travel is a habit, a curiosity and a passion. She holds a degree in Basic Theology from the St. Mellitus College in London; she is a certified John Maxwell Team Public Speaker, Coach and Trainer; she was a member of Toastmasters International; and is a Telecommunications Engineer by training.

Why is the existence of a group like WINiT important in the industry

Having an organization like WINiT in our industry shows that we are conscious of the inequalities that exist and that we are ready to engage to correct them. The wide ranging participation of organizations showcasing their progress is really encouraging and will continue to make our industry attractive to women as a place where they can lead.

What advice would you give to women just starting their careers in business travel?

I would give them the same advice: slow down. It doesn’t have to be all business and work. Enjoy the industry through travel and hospitality, take time to make friends because they may be the door to your next opportunity, take time to be curious and stray away from your entry point in the industry!

Who was a mentor who encouraged you and what did she/he say that still sticks with you?

I will always remember the mentorship of Stephane Tabary at Amadeus. I was on my first job out of engineering school in France. I imagined and had experienced hierarchical leadership that was severe and unapproachable. Stephane is the complete opposite! It’s not what he said but how he led that stuck with me. His door was always open, he shared his wisdom freely on all topics and took time to celebrate successes, birthdays and random calendar events. He showed me the possibility of warm, humane and optimistic leadership and that is the leader I want to be!