'SITE supports young people and women,' says Ovation's Delaney

Ovation's Aoife Delaney, recently appointed president elect of incentive travel association SITE, tells C&IT about the young leaders programme and the organisation's support of women.

You’ve just been appointed president elect of SITE. How did you get involved with the association?

My current role with Ovation is director of global sales. I first got involved with SITE due to its focus on education. It was a natural fit to find networking opportunities in the realm of incentive travel, which is our area of speciality. The association also has a fantastic young leaders programme, which was a big draw. The education and networking opportunities are geared towards people who are just getting into the industry. It’s for everyone who’s been in the sector for five years or less. It offers them something they may not get in their own role, with an open environment where they can ask questions and learn.

Why did you decide to join the board?

My company supported me by sending me to the annual global conference and I’ve benefitted hugely from the programme. It gave me access to people in the industry you’d never usually hear from. I spent time on the young leaders committee and then began speaking at some high-profile events. I joined the board so I could really give back to the incentive community.

What are your plans for your presidency?

As president, I really want to help promote what SITE is doing for young people and do even more to expand that. I think the association has been a huge supporter of incentive travel, through the financial crash and beyond. It’s always stayed strong on the power of incentive travel and why it’s important to continue. We have amazing research on the value of these programmes and why they’re important.

SITE understands the importance of getting everyone, from agencies to suppliers and DMCs, to work together. Our expertise is being much more recognised across the industry. It is also very supportive of women, and there’s lots of female leadership because of the flexibility and support. I actually feel like they’re pioneering a new leadership model. I’m expecting my first baby and will be going on maternity leave on the run up to my presidency. But SITE shares responsibilities out in its leadership roles, which is really helping women to be able to do it all. 

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