International Women’s Day

Each year, International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world to honor and recognize the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women everywhere. In the attractions industry in particular, there is an added cause for celebration as we move towards more open dialogue around the gender diversity issue that both men and women face. The path to leadership is a challenging one, so as we look to advance the industry, it is important to foster an environment where every voice is welcome, heard, and respected. This year, the women of WhiteWater are taking part in, not one, but two educational sessions to speak to women in the entertainment industry around how they can navigate the world of work and their careers.

I’M4FUN Podcast

Chief Experience Officer, Franceen Gonzales, will be leading a conversation in honor of International Women’s Day on the ITPS I’M4FUN podcast. As the first Chairwoman of ASTM’s F-24 Committee and a two-time Top 50 Theme Park Influencer by blooloop, Franceen knows a thing or two about blazing a trail within the industry and has worked hard throughout her 35-year career to build diverse leadership teams.

“I always tell upcoming leaders: it’s about finding the things that make you happy, finding your place in this awesome business, and then being able to forge your path knowing that there are other people who have done it before and that you can do it too,” said Gonzales.

Collaborating with Dennis Speigel, Dennis and Franceen will have a frank and honest discussion about not only the water park sector, but the entire industry in terms of product changes, consumer expectations, and safety.

Register here:

Celebrate! Elevate! Cultivate! Empower Talented Women in our Organizations

Celebrate! Elevate! Cultivate! Is a webinar collaboration between WhiteWater and Gateway Ticketing Systems® presenting a panel of industry leaders to address the important topics impacting women in the attractions industry today.

The session will be moderated by Una de Boer, Director of Global Marketing and Strategy at WhiteWater and will feature:

  • Alicia Huppman, Senior Manager, Human Resources at Gateway Ticketing Systems®
  • John Wood, Chairman and CEO at Sally Dark Rides
  • June Ko, Executive Director and Vice President, Asia Pacific Operations at International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA);
  • Mary Baerg, Chief Operating Officer at Space Center Houston as panelists

“I’ve always had strong, smart, and supportive women alongside me on my career journey,” said deBoer. “I don’t take that for granted and see my role as an opportunity to provide that same support to aspiring leaders in our industry. Organizations prosper when all talent is developed and yet women leaders continue to be underrepresented. I am looking forward to the panel sharing practical insights and encouragement for both men and women to help raise up more,” she continued.

The panelists will share some of the pivotal ‘empowering’ moments in their careers and how they and their organizations cultivate female talent.  The session aims to be equal part inspiring and practical, so everyone can support and be allies to women in the workplace.

“There is a need for discussions around empowering women in our organizations across the attractions space and beyond,” commented Alicia Huppman, Senior Manager, Human Resources at Gateway Ticketing Systems®. She added, “These important conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion need to happen more regularly and need to be featured more prominently in our industry.”

Register here:

Cassidy Newman