Employee Resource Group
Women in Tech
Making an impact - Laine
What is B.equal and what is your role within the Employee Resource Group?
I am the Global Co-Chair of B.equal which is our women and ally-focused ERG. Our mission is to attract, retain, and help grow women at Booking.com. We aim to ensure that all women have equal access to opportunities, and we work hard to remove any barriers to women’s success and wellbeing.
How has being a member of B.equal made an impact on your life both personally and professionally?
Being a Global Co-Chair has allowed me to flex my project management skills, helped me grow in my public speaking abilities, and has given me the opportunity to connect with colleagues around the world to work on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion topics that are so important and necessary.
Do you have a favourite memory from a B.equal event or activity? If so, what is it?
My favourite memory is actually one I cannot share the specifics of, but I can give a little insight. I have had so many colleagues, and now friends, from across the world reach out to me due to my role within B.equal. They have shared real stories of hard experiences they have gone through, often alone. Being able to connect with someone one on one and provide either guidance, or resources, or simply being someone who listens and is witness to their journey is, without being hyperbolic, life changing.
I've always been driven to a life of community service and advocacy so to be able to do that at a company I love and a place I spend so much time is beyond rewarding.
In what ways does Booking.com support women in the workplace?
I might need to write a novel for this question! There are so many ways, from programme-driven work such as the Women in Leadership programme or B.champion, to working with an outside organisation called “Smart About Health” where we talk about often “taboo” subjects such as periods, peri and menopause, parental topics such as baby loss, fertility issues and more, as well as sleep issues women face… to name a few. We also share workshops and resources from external, women-led companies, such as Everywoman and Catalyst.
What advice do you have for women looking to join the tech industry?
I would say find an organisation that represents your personal values, search for a company that is doing the work to bring in diverse talent and engage with those companies. Attend women-led tech conferences such as Women in Tech or Grace Hopper so you can network and meet people currently in the role you wish to have. There are now, more than ever, virtual options to attend as well. I would also recommend joining career groups on LinkedIn to find others who have similar career goals and might know about a company with a good reputation that is hiring or can refer you. Last but not least, while you’re on LinkedIn, message other women who work at an organisation you’re interested in and see if they’ll have a coffee chat or call with you to share what their experience has been like. Be bold, be courageous, and share your goals with others!
You can learn more about the ways Booking.com supports women here.