March 18, 2015
Our #SheInspiresMe series is here again for the third Wednesday of March, and today we are honoring our wonderful colleague, Brigitta Witt, who heads up global corporate responsibility for the company. We admire Brigitta’s passion and commitment to her job and to her family, and she continues to inspire us each and every day.
Position at Hyatt: Global Head, Corporate Responsibility
Number of years at Hyatt: 7
What is your favorite travel accessory? A great book and a recent photo of my son and husband.
What woman in your life has inspired you most and why? My grandmother. She was an avid traveler and adventuress and one of the most graceful and elegant woman you’ll ever meet. She instilled in me a lifelong desire to explore and understand different people, countries and cultures. She was also an avid learner – she was always tackling new challenges to keep herself and her mind fresh. She called me the day before she suffered a debilitating stroke to ask if I would go to Jordan on a camel safari through the desert with her. She thought she might need my help getting on and off the camel. She was 84 and had lost her vision in one eye! We obviously never took the trip but I cherish the memory of this last conversation because it so fully embodies her spirit.
Favorite place you’ve ever traveled? I backpacked through Southern and Eastern Africa when I was in my late 20’s. Zanzibar and Lamu were two magical islands that were almost completely undeveloped at the time – I’m so happy I had the chance to see them when I did.
What is your best advice for the incoming workforce of women? Be guided by the same virtues that make you a good person and you’ll also be a great female leader – integrity, honesty, respect for others, thoughtful risk-taking, hard work. Also, I don’t subscribe to the idea of “doing it all.” Do what matters — what’s important to you, and to your family and let go of the rest. I’m pretty sure my cupcakes won’t be on Pinterest and that my son won’t be fluent in Mandarin by the time he’s four, but I do hope that we’ll be a happy, balanced and well-traveled family that has plenty of quality time together. Finally, take every opportunity that you can to help other women – you’ll be surprised about the impact that you can have.
What is your favorite Hyatt memory? Introducing Hyatt’s first ever environmental stewardship strategy at the GM’s meeting in Dubai in 2008. It was a thrilling mix of terror and excitement all wrapped up in the warm embrace of the Hyatt family.