trivago Women & Allies
In this article, we share the story of our talent-driven group Women & allies at trivago. How it came to life, what we did in the last year, and the way forward.
How it started
The first Employee Resource Group (ERG) for women was actually formed in 2017 at trivago. As it is the case for many ERGs, the level of activity was highly dependent on individual members, and engagement appeared to fade over time. Therefore, in 2022, we joined forces as a group of volunteers and developed a new concept.
First, to define the name of the new group and its mission, we conducted a survey internally to evaluate the interest and expectations of our colleagues. Since there were several women ERGs with different focus areas at that time, we created a joined group “trivago Women & allies” to unify and amplify our efforts and defined its purpose:
Women & allies is a welcoming peer group for women and allies within trivago, that empowers its members and the company by raising awareness about gender equality, enabling learning and fostering exchange.
Next, to activate this ERG, we focused on two aspects – creating awareness around the group and recruiting more volunteers for the organization team. We spread the word via internal communication channels and onboarded leadership team members as sponsors supporting the initiative. In June, we introduced the newly formed group “trivago Women & allies” and its mission to our talents during a launch breakfast. Subsequently, the organization team was extended to a group of around ten talents so that the workload for planning and executing activities and initiatives could be spread across a broader group of people.
With this new set-up of a joint group with a clear mission and a broad and active organization committee, “trivago Women & allies” delivered a variety of engaging events and initiatives throughout the past months.
Creating a safe space to engage and exchange
In line with the group’s mission, most activities focused on creating awareness and fostering learning and exchange among its members.
“Lunch & Learn” sessions
In the format of “Lunch & Learn” sessions, we hosted sessions to share knowledge, tips, and tricks on a specific topic such as the effect of power posing or how to deal with imposter syndrome. We also hosted a casual coffee networking session and an online panel with trivago parents. These initiatives aim to make the group a place for safe and constructive peer exchange on gender topics.
Based on Google’s #IAmRemarkable initiative, three workshops were also held to empower women and other underrepresented groups to celebrate their achievements in the workplace and beyond. These workshops were organized by trivago talents who previously went through a train-the-trainer session on how to pass on and share this concept within their organization.
To add also external perspectives to the mix, Birgitta Böckeler, a technical principal engineer, joined us as a guest speaker and gave a talk titled “Born for IT? – How the image of software developers came about”. This session traced back the steps of the programming profession to its beginnings over 70 years ago and reflected on how those beginnings might have shaped our image of programmers. The “programmer brand” in society today is still the omnipresent stereotype of a socially awkward white man. In her talk, Birgitta addressed questions such as: Do boys really “just like computers more”? What shaped the profession and how do non-programmers and aspiring programmers perceive it? How might all of that be connected to our ongoing struggle to achieve more diversity in the industry?
Leveraging our alumni network
We also leveraged trivago’s alumni network by inviting Anitta Krishan at the beginning of this year to hold a workshop on “Rewiring the nervous system”. Anitta Krishan is a trivago alumni, meditation coach, and Chief People Officer in tech. She had a transformational inward journey completing advanced teacher training programs in meditation and empowerment yoga in Bali during her sabbatical. Anitta now leads guided meditations and shares practical tools that everyone can use to calm their mind.
International Women’s Day special
Lastly, for International Women’s Day this year, we gathered again on our campus. We shared an overview of activities of the past year as well as plans for the coming year. We also presented about the history and importance of International Women’s Day, and used this opportunity to network around the topic of Women Heroes as sources of inspirations.
A sustainable way forward
Looking back at the past months, three factors have been key to the successful reactivation of the group and the organization of engaging initiatives and events.
- Creating awareness: People need to know that an ERG exists. Raising awareness on gender topics and the mission of “trivago Women & allies” was a crucial step for reactivating the group.
- Involving leadership: Role models are accelerators for change. Leadership team members’ support helped bring relevance to the topic and carry the message throughout the organization.
- Distributing workload: Organizing events and activities is quite time-consuming. Therefore, a strong and diverse organizational team that efficiently distributes the workload makes it possible to execute a variety of initiatives.
With these learnings in mind, we are looking forward to another year of “trivago Women & allies”. Over the next months, we want to further grow the organization team and involve more peers in an active exchange on gender topics and beyond. We want to continue developing the group as one of the key enablers of our D&I strategy which aims to improve gender diversity in leadership and tech positions.
Thanks to Women & allies organization team members Katharina Lunenberg, Product Management Lead, and Laureen Roesch-Ahrens, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist, for compiling this article!