For Championing Diversity with Action
In 2014, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, became the first woman to lead one of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s brands. With 30+ years of hospitality experience, she champions diversity and female leadership for Celebrity’s global workforce on land and sea. Under her watch, Kate McCue became the first female captain of a major cruise ship — Celebrity Equinox.
But Lutoff-Perlo didn’t just make a “one-off” move. Rather, she’s creating an internal environment that fosters opportunity. Today, Celebrity has four female captains and four female hotel directors. In 2018, the innovative Celebrity Edge was christened by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai and it became the premium line’s first ship with a ratio of 30 percent female crew. This year, the new Celebrity Flora is sailing Galapagos expeditions with a 50/50 gender ratio on the bridge.
On International Women’s Day this year, Celebrity partnered with the Red Shoe Movement in support of the Gender Equality Global Initiative. This fall, Lutoff-Perlo launched a new TV campaign, “Wonder Awaits,” — produced by Iconoclast and set to the iconic Jefferson Airplane song, “White Rabbit.” It features a female protagonist on a voyage of discovery.
Certainly, Lutoff-Perlo has done much more too, launching transformative new ships with cutting-edge design, expanding the line’s Modern Luxury concept, adding new itineraries and — along with Dondra Ritzenthaler, Celebrity’s senior vice president of sales, trade support and service — building strong relationships with the travel agency community. Most of all, though, she’s proven an effective “change agent” in championing diversity in the cruise industry and shattering the glass ceiling with more than just lip service.