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Better Together: The Power of Women Supporting Women

My name is Iram Ali Jovanovic and my story is on the incredible power of cultivating a strong support system.

Women in business today face a magnitude of challenges across industries. From raising capital and salary gaps to balancing responsibilities and lacking self-confidence, the workplace can quickly feel inaccessible and overwhelming. Particularly in this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, women are impacted disproportionately to negative economic effects due to existing gender inequalities. 

One way to overcome the hurdles is to surround yourself with a core group of strong female connections. A squad, if you will, ready to provide practical and emotional support which ultimately contributes to your professional success as well as mental health.

Building your support system doesn’t necessarily mean uncomfortable and forced networking, which can lead to a LinkedIn connection you’ll forget about or a digital business card you may never look at. It’s about developing meaningful partnerships along your career and personal journey. It’s actively helping each other succeed; seeking authentic advice, sharing opportunities, and helping to build confidence by promoting each other’s achievements.

I can’t imagine where I would be without the amazing women in my corner.

My first champion, the person who deserves all the credit in the world, is of course my Mom. She is the backbone of my journey, having always inspired confidence and teaching the value of independence. Constantly advocating for education and proud of my eclectic interests and non-traditional career path. On days where I’d feel inadequate or nervous about presenting in a large group setting, it is Mom’s unique advice that sits top of mind. One memorable quote in particular: “Just be confident like Rachel Maddow.”

I met my first professional mentor, who I jokingly call my ‘life coach,’ at CBS Miami. It was the very start of my post-collegiate career over a decade ago. Amber was an Executive Producer at the time with a very straightforward leadership style. As I switched careers from Television News into Digital Marketing, I credit Amber with helping me through each step as my career advanced. Always a phone call or text away, the advice I received on landing interviews, negotiating salaries and navigating the corporate work environment has been invaluable.

Over the course of my career, I’ve been lucky enough to work with impressive and well-connected women across broadcast news, healthcare and travel – both in the cruise and theme park sectors. They are leaders who have empowered me to push the needle, have challenging conversations with executives, step out of my comfort zone and push for my ideas. They are the reason why I love giving back, mentoring and actively helping my connections succeed.   

The Travel & Tourism industry is powerful and resilient. While we have faced devastating challenges in 2020, we’ve also evolved. Women in Travel THRIVE was introduced to me by Kate, my amazing and exceptionally talented colleague at Universal Orlando Resort. I’m looking forward to the organization’s Day of Impact in January, where we can leverage the power of collaboration to make a difference. This is the time for us to prioritize relationships and amplify each other’s talents to prevent this pandemic’s regressive effect on gender equality. It’s time for us to lift each other in support of the extraordinary careers of women in travel.

It’s time for us to thrive. 

Iram Ali Jovanovic is Senior Manager of Digital Strategy at Universal Orlando Resort and a Women’s Fiction Writer. Learn more at www.IramAli.com or follow her across Twitter & Instagram @xoiramali.

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