Today Booking.com, the global technology leader connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, announced an exclusive partnership with the ‘Women in Tech’ track of Web Summit. As part of this initiative, Web Summit and Booking.com are together launching ‘Women In Tech Mentor Programme’, the first Women in Tech Track mentoring initiative at the event.
Web Summit is one of the world’s most highly regarded technology events which brings together Fortune 500 companies, groundbreaking startups and world-class speakers to celebrate the latest advancements in technology. The ‘Women in Tech Mentor Programme’ is a new component of Web Summit’s Women in Tech initiative which was launched in 2015 and aims to encourage open discussion about gender diversity in the technology industry. The on-site mentorship programme will give attendees an opportunity to hear from some of the most inspiring women in the technology industry and get one-to-one mentoring sessions to help them on their journey to charting their own path in tech.
As part of this initiative, Web Summit has pledged to give away 14,000 free tickets to women interested in attending the 2017 event. Since the start of this programme two years ago, the percentage of female attendees has risen to 42% which makes Web Summit one of the most gender balanced tech events globally.
“Diversity of all kinds has been core to Booking.com’s culture since the company was founded 20 years ago. Our workforce is truly global, it consists of 150 different nationalities, and more than half is made up by women”, said Gillian Tans, CEO of Booking.com.
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“We strongly believe that gender diversity is key to building a workforce that fosters innovation, collaboration and creativity and we are continuously working to make Booking.com one of the most gender-balanced companies in the world. We are committed to diversity inside and outside the walls of Booking.com and this is why we are sponsoring the Women in Tech track of Web Summit and the event’s first Women in Tech track mentoring programme,” she added.
Booking.com’s CEO, Gillian Tans, will be a keynote speaker at the event. Gillian will also join the team of high profile mentors at the event which includes Blake Irving, CEO of domain hosting company GoDaddy, Holly Liu, Founder of the entertainment app start-up Kabam, Mada Seghete, CoFounder of Branch, a mobile metrics company, and Princess Khaliya Aga Khan, an advocate for mental health and the use of neurotech innovation to tackle critical mental health issues.
“I’m very excited to be part of this initiative to help encourage more women to pursue and grow a career in technology. In an industry where women are significantly underrepresented, mentoring can help build up their professional confidence, provide a sense of belonging and encourage them to aim high. Gender diversity is key to driving innovation and collaboration across all areas of business life, so it’s important to bring down the unconscious barriers for women in the industry and promote positive role models. This is a core value for our business and I’m proud to be representing Branch at the first mentoring programme for women at Web Summit,” said Mada Seghete, CoFounder of Branch.
“We are passionate about creating diversity of opinion and bringing people together to discuss issues that really matter,” said Paddy Cosgrave at Web Summit.
“As a company that runs events around the world, we are acutely aware that female participation in the technology sector has been, and continues to be, lower than should be. This mentorship programme will be a great opportunity for female tech talent attending the event to learn from and get inspiration from our incredible network of CEOs, founders and senior executives – some of the most successful tech entrepreneurs in the industry today,” he added.