Dynamic leadership and a passion for social causes earned BCD Travel Vice President Claire Stephens the 2021 Women of Distinction award. Introduced by BCD in 2019, the Women of Distinction award supports gender equality and affirms the company’s commitment to being a diverse and inclusive workplace. Award winners must demonstrate extraordinary leadership at BCD and within their communities.
Stephens, a U.K. resident, leads BCD’s Global Client Team. She is a 19-year business travel industry veteran.
She drove BCD’s focus on modern slavery with the Don’t Look Away campaign. In collaboration with ECPAT International, a global network of civil society organizations, the campaign aimed to help end the commercial and sexual exploitation of children through awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. Stephens’ determination resulted in Modern Slavery training for over 91% of BCD staff globally.
In her nomination, senior leaders said: “The combination of professionalism and care, exceptional work ethics and dedication to support others are the outstanding characteristics that make Claire a truly inspiring leader and an outstanding example to others.”
Beyond BCD, Stephens serves in the United Kingdom’s Royal Voluntary Service as an active “Check In and Chat” volunteer, helping people who are isolated and lonely. As a non-medical Community Responder for the National Health Service (NHS), she helps with everyday activities for members of the community who remain vulnerable to coronavirus. Wherever possible, she will always look to raise awareness for modern slavery including mediating a fundraiser introduction to the Modern Slavery Helpline to secure funds for the service.
Women at all levels of BCD are eligible for the Women of Distinction Award. Two nominees are selected from each operating region and BCD Meeting & Events. Stephens was chosen by a committee including BCD Travel President and CEO John Snyder; Christian Dahl, senior vice president, People & Culture; Kelly Flynn, vice president of Strategic Communications; and Kathy Jackson, vice president and executive chair, Sustainability, and the inaugural Women of Distinction honoree.
Stephens received the award on International Women’s Day, held March 8 as a global observance of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.