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International Women’s Day | #EachForEqual

March 5th, 2020, by Claudia Santino
When Lucille Sive learned that the campaign theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #EachForEqual, she said “I love it!” 
 
As the CEO for African Travel, Inc., Lucille Sive knows a thing or two about equality.  Born and raised in South Africa, Lucille grew up during apartheid.  “Without equality you cannot have a thriving community or business,” she says. When it comes to women and business, she firmly believes that taking risks can be one of the best things we can do for our careers and that sometimes you can make a decision in your life that changes the course of it in ways you never dreamed.
 
That’s what happened to Lucille when she accepted a marketing position at Lion World Travel. She had no travel or marketing background.  What she did have was a desire to learn and that desire sparked a fiery passion for all things Africa.  “Along my TTC journey I’ve done almost everything from the bottom upwards,” she said.  “For females, you sometimes just have to jump in and make sure that you know every job that there is to know.”  That philosophy paid off when a few years after joining the company, the owner asked her to run it.   Seven years ago, she was named CEO of African Travel, and now oversees all the Africa offerings for TTC’s brands.

People measure success in different ways.  For Lucille, success is all about how happy you are in what you do, and she is extremely happy in her life and her career.   She credits being passionate about all things Africa for what helps make her life a success.  Being a female business leader in any industry can be a challenge or an opportunity.  Like an experienced wildlife tracker, Lucille looks for opportunity in everything she and her team do.  So much so that her team often tells her that she always making lemonade out of lemons.

International Women’s Day is personal to Lucille because March 8th is also her birthday.  She quotes the African proverb that says, “If you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.’”  

Lucille takes a lot of inspiration from women in Africa, who she finds incredibly resourceful and resilient.  With its focus on sustainability, African Travel, Inc. partners with women entrepreneurs in the destinations they visit to purchase unique and locally crafted gifts, like intricately beautifully beaded elephants and rhinos as guest amenities.  “Most of these women are single mothers and widows who must feed their families and the money they earn doesn’t just take care of them; it gets cycled back into their communities,” she said.  “I’m continually inspired by women from local communities working on the conservation front, or who run lodges with an emphasis on protecting elephants, rhinos and other creatures.”  

Lucille will tell you that equality is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue.  “I tell people that TTC is one of the nicest places to work at and I love what I do.  I have opportunities here that I would never have had anywhere else because the Tollman family believed in me,” she says.   “Individually, we can all have our own thoughts and we can all make a difference and we can all make sure that we celebrate women’s individual accomplishments, but together we can change the world.”

 

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