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International Women’s Day 2023

March 7, 2023
Banner of International Women's day

By Ariane Gorin

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a moment to celebrate the many accomplishments of women, while recognizing the work still to be done to achieve equality in the workplace. The inclusive mindset of IWD should guide how we approach representation all year long. I find this especially important as we look at the role women play in technology and how women’s experiences can shape business practices.

Gender Parity in Technology

Today, women are underrepresented in technology and leadership roles. Yet some of the most important contributions to technology have been by women – whether Ada Lovelace, regarded as the first computer programmer, or Katherine Johnson, whose work made landing on the moon possible. One of my favorite examples of a female innovator in history is Beatrice Shilling, who developed an ingenious idea to change the performance of Britain’s fighter planes during World War II. In what was a man’s world, her engineering ingenuity saved lives and helped the Allies win the war.

We must continue to encourage female innovators like Beatrice, Ada, and Katherine to pursue careers in science, technology, and engineering. What we do today to ensure equity will have a lasting impact, and I’d like to think the past generations of trailblazers would be thrilled to know that the most talked about technology these days (ChatGPT) was created by a woman, Mira Murati, the CTO of OpenAI.

At Expedia Group, we’re committed to achieving gender balance across all roles and levels. Our technology leaders like CTO Rathi Murthy; Shiyi Pickrell, SVP of Data and AI; Karen Bolda, SVP of Product and Technology; and Reena Patil, SVP of Partner Products, are doing fantastic work developing industry-leading products for travelers and partners while being role models for future technology leaders.

Life Experiences of Women Help Shape Businesses

Women undergo experiences throughout their lives that can disrupt their careers — from facing systemic discrimination to carrying a higher load of caregiving responsibilities to physical changes such as pregnancy and menopause that impact their ability to show up at their best. Businesses must support women by raising awareness, providing resources, making structural changes, and creating a supportive working environment for women in all phases of life.

At Expedia Group, our inclusion business group (IBG), Women at Expedia Group Learning and Leading (WELL), leads important conversations around these topics and drives meaningful changes. As a result of employee feedback, we’ve enhanced our benefits offering: we’ve increased employee access to fertility planning and treatment, removed the one-year waiting period for our new parent benefit, and continue to support new parents as they return to work. WELL also honed in on intersectionality with our other IBGs for our Own Your Dreams program, a professional development initiative to offer advice on personal branding, navigating, and networking at Expedia Group for women and IBG members from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

At Expedia Group, we put inclusion at the center of our business practices. We’ve updated our interview, hiring, and performance review processes with equity, bias mitigation, and accessibility in mind, factors that often place women at a disadvantage. This is an important step in our goal to lessen our binary pay gap and increase the representation of women at every level across our entire organization. Look for our annual I&D report in the coming months for more details.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us honor and recognize the countless contributions and achievements of women throughout history and today. Let us also recommit ourselves to the ongoing work left to do. May this day serve as a reminder to uplift, support, and amplify the voices of women everywhere.

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