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The Business of Meetings

Nov 1, 2022

138: From Cinderella to CEO with Cary Broussard

Cary Broussard, the Founder, and CEO of From Cinderella to CEO is today’s guest!

Cary is an amazing industry leader! She started her career in Corporate America and is now an entrepreneur. She joins us today to talk about her journey and share her insights and experiences as a woman in the industry and an entrepreneur.

We hope you enjoy listening to our inspiring conversation with Cary Broussard!


Cary J. Broussard

Cary is well known for establishing award-winning diversity, inclusion, and communication programs in several organizations, including Wyndham Hotels, Aimbridge Hospitality, Bank of Tokyo (now Union Bank MUFG), Carnival Cruise Line, Meeting Professionals International, and other organizations. 

She has been interviewed by The New York Times, CNN, Bloomberg, CBS This Morning, The Wall Street Journal, and other national media about her successful women's marketing programs. Cary’s business book: From Cinderella to CEO (Wiley) features business lessons learned while climbing the business ladder and has been published in 10 languages. Interviews included in her book can be heard on her podcast Cinderella CEO On Air. She recently launched a nationwide tour for the Cinderella to CEO™Awards

Dow Jones described her work as "the gold standard of women's marketing for Wall Street companies." Aimbridge Hospitality and Union Bank MUFG have implemented Broussard’s Cinderella to CEO curriculum and mentoring program to rapidly increase the number of women in senior-level management positions. Cary has also designed a leadership curriculum for New York University.

Cary Broussard provides business courses, corporate training, executive coaching, and business mastermind groups for equitable, career opportunities with positive, measurable outcomes for individuals and organizations. 

Cary’s background

Cary had three sisters and went to all-girls schools. She came from a background of valuing women’s opinions and input, but deep down, she wanted to be a boy because they could do a lot more and seemed to have more fun. After she started working in a hotel, however, she was thankful to have ample opportunity to share ideas and contribute to the overall business.

How Cary joined the hospitality industry

Cary unofficially began her career as a banquet waitress at the Hyatt at Lake Tahoe one summer while in college. Officially, she started her hospitality career as the Director of Public Relations at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. Cary moved to Dallas and started her own PR business after leaving the Peabody. She later applied for a position as the head of PR at Wyndham Hotels and got the job because she was ambitious and had tons of experience in communication. 

From Cinderella to CEO

Carey wrote From Cinderella to CEO after creating the Women on Their Way woman’s leadership program at Wyndham and through the MPI program. Her book is a reminder of how, with the help of women, the hospitality industry was able to transform and better itself. 

The Cinderella to CEO brand 

After launching the Cinderella to CEO awards, Carey created the Cinderella to CEO brand. It is a coaching, training, diversity, and inclusion effort to share advice from her own experience and the experience of others. 

Transforming the industry through women

In the past, few women used to travel on business. After Cary launched Women on Their Way, research showed that more women leaders and decision-makers in the meeting and corporate travel industry were traveling on business. Using ideas from women travelers, Wyndham transformed its image and how it operated as a hotel company.  

The pandemic

The hospitality industry dipped during the pandemic. Things are picking up now, so people are looking to hire a more diverse selection of candidates. This is an excellent time to join the industry because smart companies require diversity of thought, age, talent, and everything else it takes to make an organization great! 

Some advice for women:

  • Take control of your destiny. 
  • Find a company to work for that matches your culture and values. 
  • When traveling, always be sure to select a hotel that is clean and feels safe.

Tips for traveling safely

  • Plan your trip. 
  • Contact hotels ahead of time to let them know what your needs are. 
  • Ensure your room is easily accessible, away from dark corners, and close to the elevators. 
  • If someone at the front desk says your room number out loud, ask for a different room.
  • Take some time to look at reviews online before making a hotel booking.
  • Use a VIP car service, like Alto.
  • Be prepared to spend a little more for a safer travel experience. 

Ideally, get someone to help you plan your travel arrangements and make your bookings to ensure your experience is safe and effortless.  

Competition amongst women 

In the past, women were considered too so soft or too family-oriented to cope with managerial positions. So there were few opportunities for women, and women used to compete against one another for the few available “breadcrumbs”. We have come a long way since then. Today, at least 50% of all general managers of hotels are women. 

Good leadership

Good company leaders offer training to help everyone collaborate and work together. Good leaders also ensure that nobody feels like they are competing against external competition.

Advisory boards

Entrepreneurs can sometimes be isolated and could benefit from having advisory boards. People interested in creating an official advisory board need to know that it requires a structured approach.

Corporate experience

As an entrepreneur, Cary has benefited from her corporate experience. Others could also benefit from learning about the systems and processes of the corporate world before deciding to become entrepreneurs.


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Connect with Cary Broussard

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