Since Angela Terry, contact centre manager at Tui, left school at the age of 18, a career in travel was a dead cert. Without many qualifications the allure of a job that would take her around the world was enough for Terry to join a local family-run Swansea travel agency as a trainee consultant.
“I knew that I wouldn’t want to do anything other than travel and that I wanted to try different positions within it. Travel felt like an industry where I could take on a variety of roles that were all very different but which ultimately I would always feel passionate about.”
It was 25 years ago that Terry first joined Tui, tackling various roles, including retail manager, operations manager and sales manager.
Topping the Team Leader category at the everywoman in Travel awards at the close of 2017, Terry was recognised for convincing her Tui managers to reconsider their decision to close the Swansea contact centre, improving the speed of the centre’s answer rate to 21 seconds and achieving a 14% increase in overall customer satisfaction.
What’s more, several female members of staff assert that Terry’s mentoring has inspired them to find the confidence to progress within the company, which the judges were particularly impressed by.
“I’m a bit of a mother figure and I think I’m somebody who is respected from a business perspective. My staff know that I care for them and I look to see what I can do for them. Staff engagement to me is bigger than anything.”
From manning the phonelines to ensuring that her team is always prepared to go the extra mile for clients, Terry says she likes the fact that every day in the office is different.
“It’s almost like taking on a new role all the time and I’m very fortunate that I can do something I love and be recognised for it. I just want the business to be successful and I’m confident I can do that.”
Loyalty and passion
It was Terry’s passion when putting across the proposal for Tui’s contact centre to be based in Swansea that she attributes to her Team Leader win.
“I knew I had to do it, not just for the team but for Swansea – the city needed this investment. I knew we would deliver, no matter what.”
Delivering greatness certainly drives Terry in her role, and with the Swansea contact centre due to welcome 175 new staff, she says that hard work is more important than ever.
“I want to make sure this next part of the transition is as successful as the last three years has been. For me it’s about ensuring that these people feel supported and welcome. We still see Tui as a family business and we want the new teams to feel as comfortable as everybody else.”
Looking to the support that Tui provides for women, Terry is proud to highlight the company’s apprenticeship and school leaver programmes and graduate scheme.
“There is always somebody in Tui that women can reach out to, whether formally or informally, and that’s really backed by the company.”
For young females in the travel industry, both new and those looking to progress in their careers, Terry advises: “Believe in yourself and have passion. There are so many opportunities within the industry, whether it’s managing a call centre or selling a holiday – there is a role for everybody.
If you push yourself, you will naturally progress to what you want to do. Just let your passion shine through.”
With new categories introduced for 2018, this year’s awards will also recognise the achievements of men who are advancing the progress of women working in the sector along with women inspiring their communities outside the UK. Entries are free and can be completed at everywoman.com/travel-awards, before the deadline of 11 June 2018.