Women in Tech at Booking.com
Today’s world is increasingly driven by technology innovation and technology touches all areas of business. Recent Booking.com research found that more than half (51%) of Canadian travellers are excited about tech’s potential to further personalize their travel experiences in the future. This reliance on technology will only continue to grow as tech proves its worth and becomes more and more ingrained into our travel experiences.
Now more than ever, we need positive female role models and an industry culture that celebrates female tech talent. One of the world’s largest e-commerce companies, travel and digital tech leader Booking.com is on the forefront of industry leaders supporting women and as we approach International Women’s Day on Monday, March 8th, here are a few of the things that Booking.com does to tackle gender inequality today.
Collaborating for Change
Start-ups are a massive part of the tech industry and yet women are less likely to start their own company. “Connecting with strong female role models is crucial to help women advance their careers, especially in the tech industry. Our recent research revealed that 90% of female respondents would be inspired to chase their dreams just by seeing more women in leadership roles,” says Gillian Tans, Booking.com's Chairwoman. “Booking.com explores female mentorship opportunities wherever we can so that we can continue to help women to progress and excel in their careers.”
In an attempt to change this, Booking.com has focused their efforts on a country, continent, and global level. Just some of the organisations they have partnered with include Canada Learning Code, an organization dedicated to ensuring all Canadians, particularly women and girls, for a special 2018 coding workshop; StartupDelta in The Netherlands; IamtheCODE who are looking to enable more female coders, both women and girls, in Africa; and the Booking Booster programme which has a worldwide mandate to encourage tech start-ups.
Industry Recognition and Diversity Support
Booking.com was ranked #1 in the Financial Times Diversity Leaders 2020 Report, an inaugural ranking of the extent to which 700 companies in 10 European countries offer a diverse and inclusive workplace.
As well as supporting individual members of the tech industry, Booking.com supports the industry as a whole by having become a signatory to the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Initiative. Bringing together educators, businesses and non-profit organisations, this initiative is designed to make sure that all European citizens can develop the digital skills they need.
Technology Playmaker Awards
To celebrate women working in tech, Booking.com launched the Technology Playmaker Awards in 2017, which recognise pioneering women in technology who act as a source of inspiration and opportunity for current and future generations of women. The women honoured by these awards are creative innovators who use technology to disrupt and transform companies, businesses, and even entire communities.
Investing in Gender Diversity Research
In order to understand both the benefits of gender diversity and why tech companies are struggling to achieve this, Booking.com has invested in multiple research projects. Combined with third-party studies, this research helps industry leaders identify what barriers women face, what opportunities are available to women, and how we can make positive changes.
Some examples of this research includes data revealing that less than three in five (54%) women working in tech feel the industry is prioritizing gender diversity as part of its agenda today. Slightly more women (56%) feel their company is prioritizing diversity efforts, despite economic pressures.
Providing University Scholarships
Promoting and celebrating women working in the tech industry is important, but so is helping them get into the industry in the first place. Which is why Booking.com works with a selection of universities in Europe, India, Africa and the U.S. to support female undergraduates further their studies in STEM subjects, providing close to $1 million CAD in support.
Booking.com has an ongoing commitment to support the global push on gender diversity to help achieve a more inclusive world and empower women around the world to achieve their digital dreams.