BCD Travel has named Operations Manager Mari Afonso as its 2020 Women of Distinction Award winner. BCD introduced the award last year to honor women who demonstrate extraordinary leadership within BCD and their communities.
Afonso manages more than 40 employees across the Business Travel Center and Emergency Services team at BCD Travel Brazil. She has more than 30 years’ experience in the travel industry.
“Mari sees valuable potential in people who don’t always see it in themselves, and she then finds ways to help them get the most out of their competencies. She is very passionate about people development and puts her studies in psychology and human behavior to use not only at work but also in her free time,” said Christian Dahl, BCD Senior Vice President, People & Culture. “She continually gives back to her community, including providing life counseling to mothers through Sonhando em Familia and assisting women who have experienced abuse at home.”
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. Afonso was chosen as the honoree by a committee including BCD Travel President and CEO John Snyder; Dahl; Kelly Flynn, vice president of Strategic Communications; and Kathy Jackson, vice president and executive chair, Sustainability, and the previous year’s Women of Distinction honoree.
“Gender equity and equality are a part of BCD’s company culture, and by putting a focus on great female role models of achievement and innovation, we aim to inspire other women across our company to live out their career ambitions within BCD,” said Snyder.
BCD employs almost 13,800 people in 109 countries, and women make up nearly 70% of the company’s workforce globally. About 50% of employees at the director’s level and above are women.
The global travel management company has received multiple awards and recognition for workplace best practices, including:
- Comparably’s 2020 employee-rated Best Company Awards for culture, women and diversity.
- FlexJobs’ list of 2020’s most flexible employers with a focus on work-life balance. BCD ranks number 41 on the list of 100 top companies with remote jobs and is one of only 20 companies to have made FlexJobs’ list every year since 2014.
- Forbes magazine’s 2019 list of America’s Best Midsize Employers and 2018 America’s Best Employers For Women.