Each for Equal: International Women’s Day 2020
International Women’s Day (IWD) on the March 8th is an opportunity to reflect on the true meaning of this day and to fight towards a more equal world. Individually, we’re all responsible. We are all parts of a whole and our individual actions, conversations, behaviors, and opinions can have an impact on our larger society. Collectively, we can make change happen. Collectively, we can each help to create a gender-equal world.
We have heard many times that diversity is a business issue. A diverse employee base provides a real competitive advantage. The same happens with gender equality, a gender-equal company can be healthier, wealthier and more harmonious.
In order to stir up the conversation, we presented our first Diversity Report last week. We emphasize the word “first” because it is our starting point of collecting and presenting data on diversity. Following IWD, five talents approached us to share their stories and perspectives. We strongly believe that nobody is a stranger to the topic and that together we can shape trivago to become more equal. #EachforEqual
Empower women in tech
by Anna Gottschalg – Organisational Experience Lead – She joined trivago in 2015.
It started with a pitch to Rolf. I believe that is how many stories began at trivago. Due to my role, I often get approached by external companies with various ideas to level up our Corporate Social Responsibility activities. One small startup got my attention: Volunteer Vision. They offer online mentoring curriculums and started as an NGO in 2015 connecting refugees in need of support to volunteers across Germany. By this, they were able to overcome major bureaucratic obstacles that are usually holding potential volunteers back from becoming active. The great thing about online mentoring is that it can be done from almost everywhere and gives room for flexibility to both the mentor and the mentee which has shown to be very successful.
While I was talking to them to understand their services, product and mindset, trivago kept discussing how we could empower more women to work in our tech teams. This has been a topic for quite some time at trivago. When we look into our tech teams today, we have Fa gender distribution of 80% male and 20% female. It is tricky to change this trend, since this is not limited to the workplace but can already be seen in most IT related studies. In fact, when we look into research, we see many women give up their studies in IT because they feel “they do not fit in”.
Trying to connect some dots, I approached Rolf with the following idea: How about creating an own “tech curriculum” for an online mentoring program for female IT students? trivago talents working in tech would be the mentors, female IT students the mentees.
With this we could:
- Empower young IT students to pursue their dream of following a career in tech (providing perspective and insight into how diverse a career in tech could look like).
- Create awareness towards trivago as a potential future employer for them.
- Engage internal talents into knowledge exchange & mentoring opportunities.
He said yes to the dress, allocated some budget to this project – I freaked out because of happiness – and he resisted a healthy MVP approach. Fair enough. And this is where we are now. After having tested the platform internally, we started collaborating with Volunteer Vision and their Learning and D&I specialists, female IT students from CODE University and internal talents from tech to collect content for the sessions and provide 360-degree feedback to develop the curriculum in iterations. This summer we will be ready to launch the first version of it and I’m super excited to see it live and in action. Stay tuned! #femalempowerment
Women supporting women
by Heidi El Hawary – RL User Support – She joined trivago in 2017.
Raised in a patriarchal society, it has always been expected for women to become homemakers, regardless of their educational and career goals. While growing up, I always found myself quite reserved and quiet. I started my career at trivago early 2017 as a student. My former lead was loud, highly opinionated and driven, personality-wise, she was the opposite of me. Intimidating at first, but at the same time inspiring, she helped me find my own voice and pushed me out of my comfort zone at every chance she got. At the beginning I hated it, but later on, I understood her reasons, I found my confidence and learned to trust in my abilities.
By the end of 2017, I was a full-time Project Manager in User Support. When she told me she was moving on, I panicked. I wasn’t sure I would get the same support from my new lead, but little did I know I was about to meet another strong lead. She taught me that your work only speaks for itself when you can give it meaning and context. She pushed me to share and explore ideas outside the box, to be strategic and to have a long-term vision. She would always ask, “What do you want to accomplish?” Today, I am leading an entire team of amazing talents. Credit to the strong female influences, I want to be a role model for women and continue to break those societal expectations. #womensupportingwomen
Gender equality at trivago
by Margaux Macioce – DL HS Search – She joined trivago in 2014.
Working in tech in Hotel Search, I feel like an exception more because of my background than my gender. That should tell us how much progress has been made on gender equality! Growing up in France, studying around the world and now working at trivago, I have the great privilege to have never considered my gender a liability. I did not even think about it. Or so did I feel. Looking back over the past 5 years at trivago, I realize to my own surprise that I actually held two strong beliefs about gender equality when I entered work-life.
Belief number one: At trivago both genders are given equal opportunities. Confirmed. My journey at trivago has been a series of opportunities that were up for the taking: I missed some, I caught others. But for each, I was given a fair shot.
Belief number two: Working with women as a woman is difficult. Crushed. The one stereotype I am determined to vocally break is the idea that there is no women’s solidarity in the workplace. Every day my female friends and colleagues inspire and energize me, they give me the little nudge I need to dare to jump into the unknown and to trust myself more. Those same women will support me when I fail, with a smile, a joke, or a welcome kick that will put me back on track.
To all women and men at trivago who are making it a place of equal opportunities, and a safe space for individual growth: thank you. What we have here is worth celebrating. #equality
Indigenous girls want to go to school too: help us to support them
by Gabriela Rojas Lozano – Intern Talent Development – She joined trivago in 2019.
International women’s day is not only a day of celebrating ‘women’s achievements’. It is also a day to generate visibility around the world of all the current struggles that women continue fighting against and facing every day. It is clear that progress was made regarding women’s rights in the past decades, and it is vital to recognize these achievements. Nevertheless, there is a long road to transit before we can talk about universal gender equality.
From the Gender Pay Gap to violence against women, there are many intersections that come together when we talk about gender inequality, and I consider essential that each of us, women, men, and non-binary people, can position ourselves to understand our privileges and limitations that contribute to these inequalities – as not all humans beings are equal or have the same opportunities to become who they want to be. Some differences can lie in our country of origin, sexual orientation, age, body differences, ethnicity, and gender: these are not mutually exclusive categories but rather intersecting categories than can create completely different realities for different people around the world. Meaning that often the needs of the most vulnerable populations go unnoticed and unheard, as it happens with the indigenous communities in countries like Bolivia or Brazil, where current governments are neglecting the needs of these populations, and usually, girls and women are among the most affected.
The indigenous population in Brazil is going through a difficult situation since the new government reduced the resources and supplies for indigenous schools. This situation profoundly affects children that otherwise would no manage to attend school if it is not the one close to their community (close can mean up to 10kms or more walking). The school year already started in Brazil, but some schools do not have the resources to work throughout the whole academic year. That is the case of the Aldeia Nova Vida, which is an indigenous community located in the heart of the Amazon Forest, in the state of Acre, Brazil, where the school classes were supposed to start one month ago and could not begin due to the lack of school supplies.
We are all aware that education is the base of every society. In the Nova Vida community, the school teaches not only the ‘traditional mainstream education’ but also provides an approach to communitarian and indigenous education. This latter consists of their indigenous traditional history, language, oral stories, culture, medicine and more. In other words, if indigenous education is weakened, it will consequently affect their culture, and this will let this unique community exposed to a variety of dangerous situations, being among the most vulnerable: girls and women, especially in terms of exposure to violence.
Helping the school of Aldeia Nova Vida is about strengthening the indigenous education, culture and the life of this community, but mainly empowering girls and women to continue with their education, therefore, moving a step forward towards gender equality. The educators of Aldeia Nova Vida – which are mostly women – are asking for our support. Some friends of mine are working to ensure that the full school year can continue normally in Aldeia Nova Vida. The goal is to fundraise at least around 2000€ which is the minimum needed for the whole academic year. #supporteducation
How can you help?
Get involved and contribute – you can donate through the following link, that will take you to a Paypal pool. We will make a one-time donation (transfer) by the end of March.
Why International Women’s Day
By Anja Honnefelder – DL T&C & Legal – She joined trivago in 2016.
My first reaction to all sorts of women empowerment networks, events and special celebration days is “Not another one! Is that really needed?”. But then I think of my mom whose father prohibited her to go to university and become a doctor. She did it nevertheless and worked hard to achieve it, during the days as a student and at nights in a blood bank to earn a living. Back in the day, childcare was only available for 3-year-old kids or older and having a nanny was uncommon. My mother had two little kids at that time, my brother and I. She loved being a doctor and dropping out of work for more than 3 years was not an option for her. So she spent her whole salary on a nanny that could take care of us. I grew up in a small town with people full of stereotypes and other women gave her a hard time for working fulltime without being forced to do so.
Working at trivago, a company with a modern and open mindset and where the employer-employee relationship is to a great extent built on trust allowing for the necessary flexibility you may need when you have young kids, sometimes makes me forget how far we have come in the past 50 years. So, yes, a day like “International Women’s Day” is needed to remind ourselves how fortunate we are with the progress we have made, and that in many parts of the world gender equality is still far from being established. #breakingbarriers
Thanks to Franciso Lalanne, our internal communication expert, for compiling this article in honour of International Women’s Day!