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All Hands On Deck: trivago's Collaborative Approach
How Xena’s Latest Partner is Shaping Diversity & Inclusion in Tech
Companies that prioritise Diversity reap the rewards. Fact.
At Xena, we exclusively collaborate with companies that understand and live by this. We are thrilled to announce our latest partnership with trivago, a company not only leading by example, but also paving the path to set up new standards in both diversity and inclusion in tech.
If you ever wondered what behind the scenes are like at trivago, find out straight from the source. Allow us to introduce:
Why is it important to have a diverse tech team?
Andrea: we all have our own biases and a quick way to fight against them is by surrounding ourselves with diversity. If the team has different backgrounds, experiences, and cultures, there will be no need for an extra step since there’s already inclusion at the core.
When the team is composed of the same type of people, then it is only possible to create one side of a solution, not more. You can’t actually innovate.
In my team at trivago, we are 48% women and I lead a team of leads, of which 55% are women. Not only are we diverse in gender, we also have a total of 19 nationalities in the team. The thing with diversity is that once you have it, it is easier to maintain and attract more.
Saskia: The data is on our side, and multiple studies like McKenzie’s prove that diverse teams lead to better financial output, amongst many other benefits. My team has a 50-50 gender balance. What is special about diversity is also experiencing it. At trivago, we have everyone in the same space interacting with each other.
How diverse is trivago currently?
trivago’s commitment to Diversity and Inclusion is rooted in their purpose of empowering people to get more out of life. With a workforce consisting of around 700 individuals from approximately 75+ nationalities, trivago’s emphasis on internationalisation and localisation has fostered a diverse and inclusive mindset within the company. Their motto “We are All-Inclusive” is two-fold. On one hand, it means that they commit to providing an inclusive experience for all talents regardless of nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, beliefs, age, abilities, or backgrounds. On the other hand, it means that they aim to have an approach to Diversity & Inclusion embracing all aspects of a talent’s experience. The overall representation at trivago as of 01.01.2023 is as follows:
Gender: 57.9 % Male, 41.8% Female, 0.2% Diverse
Nationality: 30.8% Europe (28 countries), 30.2% Germany, 21.4% Asia (25 countries), 10.6% Americas (12 countries), 5.6% Africa (8 countries), 0.9% Oceania (2 countries)
Age: 35.3% (31-35) , 26.8% (26-30), 19.6% (36-40), 9.1% (41-45), 5.9% (19-25), 3.5% (46+)
Learn more about how D&I is lived at trivago: We are All-Inclusive – D&I Report 2023
What are the D&I initiatives you are most proud of and have created the most impact?
Saskia: Our F.A.M.E group. It stands for “Female Ambassadors and Mentors in Engineering”. Since its foundation in April 2022, we have gained visibility both internally and externally. Through the support of the group, more female engineers have given presentations and represented trivago in conferences and other public activities. We did several public speaking trainings so that even if you weren’t familiar with speaking in public, you got a boost to prepare you for the stage.
“At trivago,we celebrate and encourage cultural diversity. We have cultural celebrations (Diwali, Cinco de Mayo, July 4th…) organised by employees who are representatives of countries whose culture is being celebrated. They take charge in showcasing their cultural experience with the rest of the company and this is really cool.”
–Ololade Ogeye, Employer Branding Specialist @ trivago
What advice would you give to teams that want to implement D&I practices?
Andrea: Do not only focus on the “diversity part” and leave out the inclusion. It is easy to focus on filling a diversity quota but then the inclusion aspect gets forgotten. Make sure to integrate both elements into your strategy. When it comes to hiring, make sure to have a diverse panel doing the interviews to fight against any unconscious biases. Look for individuals that complement the team, rather than just fit in. Having diverse and different opinions will add immeasurable value to any company or team.
“At an organisation level, take a look at your context. The beginning requires a lot of data digging to identify the status quo. Only then can you properly see what needs to get done and what makes sense. In our case, focusing on Women in Tech was in sync with our context.”
–Laureen Roesch-Ahrens, Diversity & Inclusion @ trivago
Saskia: For example, if you observe that there are only 15% female leads in the company, looking deeper at diversity in leadership may be a good start.
How can companies work towards actively diversifying their tech teams?
Saskia: Use the diversity you already have in the company. When possible, hire internally and give existing members a chance to grow and develop over time. I started off as a working student and then got offered a full-time Fullstack Backend position. Later, when some team leads left, I started taking over some responsibilities and eventually, saw myself getting into a leadership role after some encouragement. This is not always easy. In my case, it was first confusing and challenging to adapt but once I explored the role, I felt more comfortable as time went on. Make sure to find mentors and build a support system to stay on track.
Andrea: Encourage a culture of growth. If you think someone has the potential for a role within the company, encourage them to apply. Just like Saskia, I had the support of team members who helped me build the confidence needed for a new role. Create an atmosphere where everyone can throw themselves into exploring new territories. Do not always consider the ‘first come, first serve’ mentality but also give a chance to the not-so-outspoken to also speak up when they are ready.
In your career, most decisions are reversible so, give yourself the chance to experience a new role within a specific time frame. If it doesn’t work, don’t take it too seriously and move on to the next opportunity. What’s the worst that can happen? You will go in another direction more confidently and with newly-gained experience.
When working on inclusion, treat everyone the same and encourage team members to leave their comfort zone to diversify their skills. For example, if someone leans towards the technical side of the job, explore opportunities to work on other non-technical areas like public speaking and communication skills. When you inspire the team to expose themselves to new possibilities, you are diversifying the team and exploring unknown potential.
What led trivago to partner with Xena? What does success at the end of 2023 look like?
Laureen: The why has to do with our D&I goals and focus on gender representation and tech leaders. Since Xena specialises in senior Women in Tech, it was a good opportunity to partner to fulfil our goals and learn along the way. We wanted to make sure we were putting our internal efforts in the right place and getting external support to strengthen the direction we are already going in.
Success looks like good candidates, seeing them convinced that trivago is a good place to work at.
Ololade: Xena can bridge the gap between diversity and hiring whilst having direct contact with the community that we’re trying to reach. We also think the idea to support the development of STEM careers in young people is one that deserves a collaborative effort.