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Xena's D&I Tech Employer of The Year Winner 2023
Expedia Group is on a mission to make travel inclusive for everyone
Companies play a crucial role in taking diversity and inclusion to the next level.
They have the power to push the agenda forwards, set the tone, and simply show how it’s done through example. That’s precisely what this D&I Tech Employer of The Year Award is about. In partnership with Preply, we set out to celebrate tech companies and the work that is being done behind the scenes. From setting up internal D&I initiatives, ERG groups, to closing the pay gap and everything in between.
Want to learn more about the winner? Francisco Gallego, Global Inclusion and Diversity Manager shared with us some insights on diversity and inclusion at Expedia Group.
What inspires Expedia Group to push equality in tech?
Our mission is to power global travel for everyone, everywhere and that starts by having a workforce that represents the diversity of our travelers around the world. There is much left to do, we see that there is still underrepresentation but we are working on fixing this. Expedia Group is aiming to create an environment for equality to thrive. When we embrace equity, we embrace diversity and inclusion to forge harmony and unity, and help drive success for all.
In line with Xena’s values, we also want to see more diverse representation in tech.
What are your diversity stats and goals for 2023?
% of women employees in: EMEA (50,2%) and Global (47,8%).
At Expedia Group, we keep a close eye on gender parity, attrition, retention rates, and tenure breaks. This also includes candidate interviews vs offers extended and offers declined. Our objective is simple: by the end of 2025 women occupy 50% of roles at all levels globally.
Our Inclusion & Diversity Reports are published annually, where we show our strides and room for improvement. We mainly want to see more senior women, directors and decision-makers worldwide. When it comes to hiring diverse talent, we also have to make sure that we have systems in place to facilitate their stay as well.
We have 8 Expedia Group Business Resource Groups, of which I would like to highlight: WELL (Women at Expedia Group Learning and Leading). Every year in March, in honour of Women’s Month, WELL selects a theme that will be carried out by local chapters that will bring the global vision to life. This year’s theme was to Embrace Equity.
For us to move the needle, allyship plays a key role. That’s why Expedia Group’s Chief Legal Officer Robert Dzielak, is the executive sponsor of WELL.
How does Expedia Group reduce biases during the hiring process?
All hiring managers need to go through unconscious bias training. It is important that we are aware of our biases because it is only then that we can do informed decisions. Another key factor is diversifying our pipeline, we are making a conscious effort to include underrepresented groups identified especially in the US such as black and Latino communities. We even have one role dedicated to this: Bernita Dillard, Director of Diversity Sourcing.
Inclusion is a conscious effort, and exclusion is an unconscious one.
Once they are part of the process, we have a panel that is intersectional and makes sure that they hold each other accountable. We judge based on talent and look out for whether they are going to add to culture instead of just being fit. In order to do this, we use the SBI (Situation, Behaviour and Impact) Model when giving feedback and we ask ourselves whether our candidates can thrive in the long run at Expedia Group. See below Expedia Group’s Inclusive Recruitment process in a nutshell:
• Candidate slates: ensure diversity balance on every interview slate. Include at least 2 women before a hiring decision is made.
• Interview panels: a gender-balanced set of interviewers.
• Candidate feedback and debrief: provide valuable and meaningful feedback for all interviewed candidates. Post-interview debriefs sessions critical to a non-biased process.
• Hiring managers work closely with recruiters to understand hiring targets, talent hotspots, and current diversity. Find events, networks, and communities to attract that talent.
• Increase apprenticeship hiring, and direct engagement with women student affinity groups.
We are looking beyond the next step, as in what needs to be done in terms of mentorship or returning from maternity leave, making sure the team is understood and trusted. We see the full life cycle and we are always on the lookout to find ways to raise each other.
We know that there is a journey ahead and we are not there yet as a society but as a company we need to drive that change we want to see. We try to be humble, try our best, and at the end of the day we are humans and might make mistakes but when we fail then we learn and improve – that is the only way forward.
We also offer awareness trainings for all hiring managers and employees:
• License to hire
• Ally Skills Training
• Decoding bias – unconscious bias.
3 tips for building inclusive tech teams:
1. Create psychologically safe spaces
Allow your team to be themselves. Not only at an identity level but also in terms of who they are, their personality, and giving space within the company to flourish. E.g. take into account introverted and extroverted preferences, and cater to them by offering flexibility, and accommodating their needs.
2. Ask don’t assume
When creating internal systems, make sure to stop assuming and start asking. We create labels and assumptions based on personal expectations which consequently limits and puts that unconscious biased. Creating a culture where asking questions is the norm is essential.
3. Learn about each other’s communication style preferences
Make sure to listen to the individual, how they like to communicate, and what is more important to them. Only then can you effectively communicate and understand each other. E.g. set time to get to know each other during onboarding across different projects and discover how you can support each other.