As part of International Women’s Day, Glamping Hub is pledging to continue to celebrate and encourage women in tech and travel industries. As we continue to grow, we promise to keep people at the core of what we do, advocate the growth of women to leadership roles, and highlight and celebrate the achievements of not only our team but also the women in our glamping community.
This month, we want to share some of the incredible women in tech and travel industries who work behind the scenes at Glamping Hub.
Meet Carmen Martínez, Finance Manager
Carmen is from Cadiz, Southern Spain but has spent half of her life in Oxford UK, after what originally was a two-week stay that turned into 12 years there! With a degree in international business management and tourism, and a master in financial management, she admits that she “didn’t study finance because I was passionate about it per se – but rather because it was the most challenging sector to learn – and that’s what motivated me to study it.” During her time studying, she was able to combine her motivation to challenge herself with a passion for social change.
Starting her professional career in the customer support team at TripAdvisor in the UK, moving through various departments to finally become a financial controller. It was at this time that due to unfortunate personal circumstances, she had to leave her life in the UK and return to Spain.
“Although this stage was perhaps the hardest of my life, and I immediately found a job in Spain, it wasn’t until I stumbled upon Glamping Hub that my life started to take off again. The fact of being able to work in my homeland but at the same time being surrounded by people from so many different places and being part of such an emerging business ignited a passion in me again.”
We sat down with Carmen to find out more about her experience as a woman in tech and travel industry, her life, achievements, and goals for the future. She talks openly about self-confidence, resilience, recognizing your worth and leading by example as great ways to develop as a person.
What is your superpower?
What attracted you to the tech/travel industry?
The fast-paced environment
What is your most memorable travel experience?
The memory of my best trip is when I was in Cuba. When I visited they were still under the old regime. Seeing how their culture and the country, in general, functioned in a way so different from what I knew surprised me a lot. The fact that they did not allow tourists to mix with local people and my desire to do the opposite made the trip a real adventure. Finally I met a local family who very cleverly managed to make me one of their family and show me some truly magical places. The hospitality of the local people and their way of life brought me a lot.
Could you tell me something that you are passionate about?
I am passionate about living and learning. Valuing life and non stop learning I think are the two most important things in the world. Keep changing because that means you keep evolving. To keep meeting people who make you change your ideas, your opinions, who are able to challenge me intellectually.
Have you lived or worked anywhere interesting in the world? If so, where and why did you enjoy it?
I lived in Oxford for 12 years. I find it a very interesting place to live and work because of the number of different cultures that coexist in such a relatively small place. Having grown up there I think it brings an immense capacity to open your mind and your way of being to other cultures and religions that have nothing to do with your own. The capacity for tolerance and learning that you develop is brutal.
What’s the biggest lesson that you’ve learned that’s unique to being a female leader/manager or in a male-dominated team?
We should lead by example.
There is plenty of room for individuals to step up and show what true effective leadership looks like, and that happens by leading by example. If you do the job, try to always exceed the norm/go the extra mile, and show empathy in whatever you do – being in a male-dominated team proves not be a problem from my point of view. It is not that much about gender but about personality.
What are your biggest accomplishments?
I think my biggest accomplishments are those where I have been involved in projects that have helped to change things and make a difference: the sustainable tourism development plan for the town of Conil, raising funds for cancer research, volunteering at the Red Cross to help women and children, working actively in worldwide organizations that safeguard the seas and oceans (WWF and Oceana), work and being part of a company such as Glamping Hub that looks for nature awareness while traveling and enjoying it and having created my own eco-friendly clothing line.
Do you enjoy being in and around nature? If so, tell us about your favorite place to relax, unwind, or explore in nature.
What I like most about nature are two things: sitting at night looking at the stars in the sky and sitting in the middle of the field on a sunny day listening to the birds while my dog plays. Those are the two most relaxing moments. It makes you feel connected to the earth and aware of the present.
Could you name a woman who’s inspired you the most in your life?
Yes. Her name was Mary Derqui. She was a woman born in 1945. She married at the age of 19 and at the age of 20 she had the first of her 7 children. At the age of 43, she gave birth to her youngest daughter – so she spent her whole life “breeding”. However, while carrying a house and 7 children forward, she not only had time to be a mother and wife with honors, she did much more than breeding her kids, she bred everlasting values. She was a mother and a wife, yes – but she was also a teacher, an entrepreneur, and a politician.
She was also an inveterate traveler – she traveled from Kenya to Texas and spoke more than 3 languages – later she became an active member of a group of psychologists where they helped women to get out of poverty. Perhaps Mary did not stay long enough in this world to see the collective feminist struggle that is happening nowadays- but still, I can say that Mary was a key player, in her own way and in her own time, in the ongoing struggle for the revival of feminism. Mary Derqui, unbeknownst to her, was my role model. Mary Derqui was my mother: she showed me what “living” means and is worth, the person who has ever inspired me the most.
Have you set yourself any goals for the future?
My goals for the future are reduced to being able to live quietly and close to people who contribute to me. Professionally I hope to continue learning as many different things as I can to become an expert in getting the job done right.
Are there any podcasts, books, apps, or social media accounts that you follow for inspiration?
Video Series: BBVA Aprendemos juntos
Video Series: TED Conferences
Are you part of any organizations that focus on the support or growth of female equality, education, employment, or entrepreneurship?
Yes: La Cruz Roja. We also help women develop skills that will in turn help them to get more opportunities for education and employment.
What piece of advice would you give to young women looking to work in the tech or travel industries?
Become a person of value: recognize your own-worth and let your voice be heard. Acknowledge your limitations, work on them and speak with confidence.
Thank you Carmen for sharing your incredible story with us. Your drive and ambition to learn and challenge yourself are inspiring for us and so many others, not to mention the amazing work you do outside of Glamping Hub. Your mother Mary Derqui was an exceptional woman whose legacy will be remembered through her impact on the world and by sharing her story.
If you are enjoying our Women in Travel and Tech series, make sure that you check out Our International Women’s Day Host of the Month: Sheree from Ontario. She gives great advice for women looking to start their own glamping business.
Or read Women in Tech and Travel Celebration: Meet Marisa, who talks about having self-confidence, growing up in Houston Texas, and Spain, and how a hunger to learn encouraged her to achieve her goals.
Keep following us to read more great women in tech and travel stories!