Spotlight on Susan Lichtenstein, 2021 WINiT Top 50 Women in Travel Recipient

As Managing Partner of DigiTravel Consulting, Susan leads the company in building next-generation consulting services for the business travel industry. Prior to DigiTravel Consulting, she served as Director of Global Procurement Services for Cisco Systems Inc. and Vice President of Corporate Markets for Experient.

Why is WINiT vital to you?
I joined WINiT because my good friend Mick Lee was leading this essential initiative, but I stayed to give back. I’m a firm believer that you cannot keep the good things you have without also giving back, and WINiT gives me the chance to do that. When I mentor someone, I learn much more than I give. Having a formal channel to allow women to grow, learn and succeed is valuable and vital.

What do you love about being in business travel?
The many opportunities to move forward and learn each day in areas such as service, finance, innovation, leadership, procurement, IT, change leadership, distribution and data management, plus the opportunities for networking, mentoring and fellowship. It offers a full experience to continually grow your mind, heart and spirit.

Who was a mentor who encouraged you, and what did they say that still sticks with you?
I was having a rough period and felt I couldn’t get anything right. I connected with my mentor, and she said: “When you’re growing and changing your job or your environment, it’s difficult to give yourself the freedom to fail until you succeed. You need to give yourself that permission. Only through our failures do we learn.” She told me I am allowed 21 mistakes a day. After that conversation, my spirit instantly lifted. As long as I stay under 21 a day, I am good – no more worries about failing. Perfection is the enemy of innovation so having this permission creates innovative thinking.

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