At our high-energy and dynamic workplaces, we want employees to feel valued as a part of the team and excited to contribute to the long-term growth and success of the company and our mission. To create a positive workplace, our brands are taking steps to boost diversity, enhance benefits and create abundant opportunities for training and professional growth.
As of December 2018, we have 24,000+ employees around the world. The vast majority of employees work at the brand level.
With more than 150 nationalities across our employee base worldwide, diversity is at the core of our company culture, and we are committed to making our company one of the most diverse and gender-balanced tech companies in the world. We believe that when our workplaces reflect our customers and communities, we create a stronger business and a better future.
As a corporation, we are continuously looking for ways to promote inclusive cultures. Recently, Booking.com conducted a cultural assessment of the Leadership Team and held workshops on inclusion and unconscious bias training for corporate employees.
We continue to focus on developing women leaders and recently completed the third, and largest, cohort of the Booking Holdings Women in Leadership Program, which brings together women leaders across our six businesses to provide mentorship and facilitate networking. In 2018, we launched an alumnae community for the current and future graduates to connect and network.
Our brands are also rolling out education, recruiting, mentoring and hiring initiatives that support and encourage a diverse and inclusive workforce that enables individuals from all backgrounds, genders, cultures and perspectives to reach their full potential.
Recently, OpenTable has made a concerted effort toward hiring more women, with much success. This effort includes reviewing and updating job descriptions to eliminate unintended gender bias through Textio to ensure accuracy. As the applicant pool grows and diversifies, OpenTable will be working to ensure that at least two women candidates appear on the finalist list for consideration for every engineering hire.
In 2018, employees in the tech department nominated and recognized internal technology playmakers — employees who had either been a role model or were active in driving diversity within the workplace. They also launched an internal mentorship program, focused on accelerating the development of women employees — developers, designers, data scientists and team leaders — in growing their technical and/or leadership career.
With more than 50% of the workforce comprised of women at Agoda, a grassroots women’s network was formed — bringing together women from all departments across the organization. Fireside chat panels are held featuring dynamic women leaders in the organization throughout the year. Agoda’s desire to improve support and recognition of women leaders also led to the launch of its inaugural Women’s Leadership Initiative. The intensive program was driven by a cohort of senior and emerging tech and non-tech leaders with a focus on cross-cultural leadership, unconscious bias and transformations. A second cohort will be launched in 2019.
We are proud of our brands’ work to create more inclusive communities and connections beyond the workplace.
In 2017, OpenTable launched its OpenKitchen campaign, as part of its commitment to help end the historically exclusionary, abusive restaurant culture. This campaign included webinars for restaurant leaders focused on anti-harassment practices and gender inclusivity, and workshops on topics such as how to be an ally in the workplace and how to create an inclusive culture for the LGBTQIA community.
In 2017, Booking.com launched its Women In Technology program and partnered with Web Summit, the largest tech conference in the world, to host a Women in Tech networking and mentoring program in an effort to create more opportunities for women to enter, advance and thrive in the technology sector. In 2017, the mentoring event attracted nearly 200 mentees, matched with 60 high-profile industry mentors. In its second year, in 2018, the event matched more than 500 mentees with 350 high-profile mentors. As part of the Women in Technology program,
Booking.com also launched scholarship programs in partnership with the University of Oxford in the UK, and the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands. The program consisted of 15 scholarships that were granted to women looking to further their education and advancement in the technology sector. The grants equaled €500,000 across both university partnerships.
Booking.com also launched its Technology Playmaker Awards in 2017, and extended the program into 2018. The program is designed to celebrate and recognize women who have disrupted or are transforming businesses, industries and communities through the use of technology. There are 7 individual award categories, each with a €5,000 prize. Individual winners also have a chance to win the top prize of €10,000 and become the Booking.com Technology Playmaker of the Year.
Across our brands, we aim to facilitate a company culture where each employee feels engaged, connected, healthy and professionally fulfilled. Our efforts are working. One way our brands provide a rich experience for employees is by providing a myriad of opportunities for employee engagement. Employee resource groups are one example of how employees find connection and engagement. These groups, such as Agoda’s Life Groups, provide spaces for employees to share their interests, backgrounds and talents. Life Groups are designed to create inclusive environments in light of the company’s rapidly growing talent diversity. There are more than a dozen active Life Groups formed around varying areas of interest from fitness to music to machine learning.
Driven by a global wave of evangelizing wellness to help alleviate “office syndrome,” fitness-related Life Groups (yoga, football) have organically expanded to multiple locations such as Bangkok, Shanghai, Seoul, Budapest and New York.
As the Life Groups mature, Agoda will continue to investigate new ways to utilize the groups’ power and their diverse membership to drive positive business results.
Across our brands, we are working to support employees with manager training, peer-to-peer learning, mentorship programs and new tools that focus on self-directed learning. Some brands focus on executive leadership, such as Priceline, which launched an executive leadership program for top leaders called Elevate. Other brands are focusing on collaboration, such as Rentalcars.com, which has brokered partnerships with specialist learning sites including LinkedIn Learning and Safari Books.
Employee health is another top priority. Each brand follows mandated policies for health care benefits, which vary widely from country to country. We perform regular benchmarking of benefits and wages to ensure it remains competitive in what it offers and that it complies with local laws and regulations.
OpenTable’s family-friendly benefits earned it a “Healthy Mothers Workplace Award.” Benefits include up to 10 weeks of paid leave, wellness rooms with hospital-grade pumps for new moms and a service that makes it easy to ship breast milk home during business travel. OpenTable also offered LUCY, a service for one-on-one coaching of new and expecting parents to support their transition back to work.
The company’s Mental Health First Aiders programs supports colleagues suffering from mental health issues by introducing them to practical steps they can take to maintain good mental health. In addition, the organization is equipping managers with the information they need to spot and handle employee mental health issues.
To reduce the stigma, Rentalcars.com has focused on raising consciousness of this often-misunderstood issue. During Mental
Health Awareness Week, employees took advantage of onsite massage therapists and workshops on resilience, stress, anxiety, meditation, yoga and mindfulness.
During that week, colleagues were encouraged to share their own stories. The positive reception to these stories modeled that it was OK to discuss mental health and that the company is there to offer support to ensure the good mental health and wellbeing of employees.
Our culture is rooted in integrity. We are committed to conducting business ethically and legally to achieve the right results, the right way. Ethical business practices unite all of our brands across the world.
Our Code of Conduct provides guidance for our employees and suppliers about anti-bribery and corruption, fair competition and antitrust, privacy and data security, non-discrimination, and reporting and investigation among other topics. We also have formal policies regarding political contributions.
The first part of this effort was a company-wide survey, which assessed the overall ethical culture and the Program’s effectiveness. The survey found that Booking Holdings has a strong ethical culture. However, there were opportunities for improvement: Employees reported that while ethical subcultures exist, unethical behavior is underreported; they expressed a desire for more awareness about the company’s Compliance & Ethics Program.
The assessment concluded that a lot of good steps have been taken in the area of ethics and compliance, and it also pointed to gaps in the current program implementation.
Under the new program, all brands are expected to operate and measure progress through key performance indicators. In addition, a greater emphasis will be placed on manager responsibility for driving compliance and ethics messages into their teams. To do this, managers will be better trained and given resources and action plans to meet this standard. To start, the company is developing an initiative called Ethics Moments, periodic manager-led discussions in which managers and their teams stop, think, and talk about compliance and ethics topics, initiatives or policies.