Our Gender Representation Journey

At Booking.com, our diversity gives us strength. We know that the more diverse we are, the more perspectives, skills and experiences we have, the closer we get to making it easier for everyone to experience the world. 

But diversity alone isn’t enough. We know that to benefit from our diversity, we need to create an inclusive workplace where everyone can do their best work and succeed in their careers. Inclusion is no easy task and no matter how much we work on it, we can always do better. 

One key part of ensuring an inclusive workplace for everyone is representation, including, among many identities, representation of women. We know, for example, that women are underrepresented in tech roles as well as in senior management and leadership positions. This challenge exists not only at Booking.com, but is an industry-wide issue that we are seeing more and more companies working to address. 

At Booking.com, our ambition is to achieve balanced gender representation. We know we’re not there yet, and societal norms and labour market gaps present a challenge for this ambition. However, this doesn’t stop us from making steps every day towards increasing women’s representation. 

We strive to bring more talented women into Booking.com, to support more women aspiring to careers in technology, and to enable women’s career progression while addressing unconscious bias or inequity in our people processes and systems. A number of initiatives are underway to enable greater representation of women at all levels of our organisation.

150+ nationalities
represented

172.000 volunteering hours donated

140 offices in
70 countries

Enabling Women’s Transition into Tech

We know that women have low representation in tech roles. Historically women enter tech roles at a lower rate than men and as a result, there is a lower market supply of women in tech. At Booking.com, we have a number of initiatives aimed at supporting women’s careers into tech both within Booking.com and in society.

Apprenticeship Programs
Within Booking.com, we are running six different apprenticeship programs for roles ranging from Data Science to Software Testers. For example, our Software Developer and Tester apprenticeships are an entry option for people who are passionate and talented but don’t yet have the right experience to land a tech role. We have seen that apprenticeships can increase the pipeline of women as 50% of tech apprentices are women. We also know that typical apprentice salaries can be a barrier for people wanting to switch careers. So we have also reviewed how we are compensating our tech apprenticeship roles.
Partnerships
The lack of representation of women in tech is a symptom of society and a narrative that discourages women from going into tech roles. While societal change is gradual, we are committed to playing our part to help drive change for women’s representation in tech. We work with governments and organisations including Catalyst, everywoman, and Diversity Hero to address the diversity and skills gap in tech, as well as establish a high global standard and expectation of progress towards this issue.
Research
As an additional contribution to society, we invest in both industry and internal research on diversity and inclusion to shine a light on the perceptions, opportunities and challenges for women and other communities within the tech industry. This research helps us determine our focus, informs our decisions and drives effective change.
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In addition to helping grow the talent pool of women in tech, we also know we need to find and hire the talent that is already out there. There is already immense competition for talent, especially in tech roles, and even more so for diverse talent. We’re working hard to make sure that we’re connecting with diverse talent and are ensuring a fair and unbiased recruitment process. 

Tech New Hire Attraction

We enable our recruitment teams by providing insights and learnings for them to proactively engage with diverse talent pools in an equitable way. For example, working with hiring managers to raise awareness of unconscious bias and providing some examples of how this can be minimised during the recruitment process.We also partner with organisations and attend events supporting women in the tech industry, such as Reframe Women in Tech, MyGwork and Anita Borg. By developing a relationship with such organisations and having a presence at these events, we are tapping into the competitive market for women in tech.

Software Developer Graduate Program 

Our program to hire recent graduates for entry-level software development roles. The graduates have the opportunity to work within several different teams for the duration of the program, letting them experience different types of software development career paths. We have been running this program for a number of years in the UK and this year we have launched it in the Netherlands. 
In the UK, we changed the entry requirements from having studied computer science to STEM to make the program more accessible. Our most recent cohort was made up of 20% women graduates, which is similar to past cohorts. However, with a more targeted approach focused on schools and universities this year, we hope to see the proportion of women graduates increase. 

We’re not only focused on attracting talent, but also supporting the talent that is already working at Booking.com. We know that role models are important for increasing women’s representation, as are mentors who can advocate for women mentees and unlock networks and opportunities otherwise unavailable to them. 

Mentoring

Booking.com has a self-directed mentoring program available to all colleagues. Mentees can search for a mentor from our mentor database and can initiate a personalised mentorship. In addition, we also offer two internal programs focused on supporting the career progression of women in tech roles and women in leadership: 

B.champion 

B.champion is our learning and development program for talented and ambitious women who want to prepare for the next step in their career. The program covers technical roles where we have the biggest gaps in women’s representation. In partnership with organisations supporting women’s career growth, participants are given resources and workshops to support their professional development. There is also a mentoring component to B.champion, where mentees are paired with a more senior level mentor from within the business. 

Women in Leadership Program

Our Women in Leadership Program is our global development program for women in upper management and leadership positions. Participants benefit from a series of workshops and other resources to support their professional development. The program also connects our women leaders across Booking Holdings brands, expanding their network.

We are committed to providing a fair and equitable working experience for every one of our colleagues. We also know that (unconscious) bias and assumptions exist in society, which may have influenced our processes and policies in the past. Which is why we’re regularly checking in to see where and how we can do better to ensure an equitable experience for all of our colleagues. 

Promotions

At Booking.com, we run the promotion cycle twice a year. With every cycle, we analyse eligibility, nominations and success rates by gender and Business Unit.

Annual Compensation Evaluation 

We are committed to pay equity, regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity. With the help of an independent compensation consultant, we conduct pay equity studies every other year, and in the off years, we work on remediation plans to address outliers. In the off years, we work to address any of the findings and continue to monitor and assess internally. 

Review of Family Policies

We know that company family policies can present a challenge for women trying to pursue their career while raising a family. Policies that also consider men who want to play a strong role in child rearing benefit both women and men, enabling men to spend time with their children and women to have the option to be an equal or primary breadwinner. With this in mind, a review of our current family policies is underway to support the attraction and retention of women at Booking.com and to drive equal career development opportunities.

Partnering with Our Communities

We know that we can learn much about how to improve the experience of underrepresented identities’ in our workplace from our own colleagues. Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are voluntary groups of colleagues representing diverse identities at Booking.com. They advocate for the interests of underrepresented colleagues, provide a feedback loop for the business, and create community for their members.

The ERGs partner with the Inclusion, Diversity, Belonging and Wellbeing team to maintain awareness of challenges facing the community and to propose global programs for the business to support. For example, additional external partnership opportunities, identification and creation of training for colleagues at all levels, and a global speaker series to raise awareness about critical issues for our underrepresented colleagues.

We have a variety of Employee Resource Groups reaching and connecting over 10,000+ employees across the globe, helping to ensure all employees across the organisation feel empowered, well supported, valued and welcomed so they can thrive and do their best work.

Celebrating Colleagues Driving Change

Nurturing an inclusive environment and culture will help women and other underrepresented identities (and all colleagues) succeed in their careers. Inclusion is something that every one of us must work towards every day if we want to create a truly inclusive workplace. Which is why we empower our colleagues to learn more about inclusion topics and how to make a difference in their day-to-day. There are some colleagues who go above and beyond to help Booking.com become a more inclusive workplace, and we celebrate their efforts.  

Playmaker and Inclusionist Awards

Our annual Playmaker and Inclusionist Awards recognise and celebrate our colleagues who have found impactful ways to advocate for Inclusion, Diversity, Belonging and Wellbeing at Booking.com. Awardees can be people who make an impact with their everyday actions, or those who mobilise large initiatives that make change at scale. Colleagues can nominate one another, or leaders can nominate them. The nominations are then assessed by our Inclusion, Diversity, Belonging & Wellbeing team, senior leaders globally, and the People Team. 

Past awardees have been recognized for organising Women in Product events, improving the recruitment process to minimise unconscious bias, creating an opportunity for 50 women to attend the Women of Silicon Roundabout conference, and much more.

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2021 UK Gender Pay Gap Report

The UK government recently released their annual Gender Pay Gap report. Since Booking.com Transport Limited is based in the UK, we are required to report our gender pay gap results. To learn more, click here.

At Booking.com, we’re committed to fair and equal treatment for all our employees. We regularly review compensation between men and women to ensure that employees performing the same or similar role are compensated with equal pay for equal work. Independent analysis conducted by an independent third party compensation consultant confirms that Booking.com has no gender pay gap for like-for-like roles. The analysis took various factors into consideration, including performance ratings and market. We continue to check regularly to ensure we are paying men and women equally for equal work. 

The UK Gender Pay Gap report measures gender pay gap, which is a measure of the percentage difference in the average pay of men and women across the entire company. This is different from equal pay for equal work. The report shows that there is a gap in average pay between men and women at Booking.com Transport Limited. This gap exists due to the higher proportion of men in higher paying roles, such as engineering as well as upper management and leadership. You can find our full analysis of the report on Booking.com Transport Limited here

We recognize that there is unequal representation of women in roles which traditionally pay more like engineering and senior technical roles. We also recognise that we need to work harder to improve our representation of women in leadership positions. Which is why we have a number of initiatives and programs in place to support women’s representation in tech roles and at higher career bands not only at Booking.com Transport Limited, but across all of Booking.com.