As a Vice President in GBT’s Traveler Care organization, Maria Haggarty is responsible for ensuring our travelers receive the best service possible. This ethos is reflected in Maria’s commitment to ensuring diversity across her teams. Here she shares what ”collective individualism” means to her, and the leader that has always inspired her to be her best, and to do her best for others.

What does #EachforEqual/collective individualism mean to you?

I think it’s so powerful; individual actions for the collective good!

Equality in the workplace is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. What steps are you taking in your role to contribute?

One change I’ve made is in how I approach mentoring or sponsorship. The familiar model generally starts from the mentee’s initiation asking for a sponsor or mentor.  I’ve been working to flip the model by intentionally asking leaders if they would like for me to be their sponsor.  I think it’s really important for our rising leaders to hear “I see you. I see your potential. How can I be part of your leadership story? What can we learn from each other?”

Who is one leader who inspires you in setting the tone for #EachForEqual?

When I came into the workforce I had a very small lens in terms of perspective. Joining American Express changed my life.  Ken Chenault so clearly articulated the importance of diversity and talent. Over the last 20 years his influence has been the voice in my head inspiring me in how I see and build teams.  The impact has not just been how I lead at work, it changed the way I raised my two boys.  My hope is they are the strongest voices at the table carrying the banner that success for companies can only happen when your employees and leaders are a full representation of the clients you serve.