It’s shocking to think that in 2018 there is still a huge disparity when it comes to women in technology. So today, on International Women’s Day, I’m going to take a moment and highlight some women, and one company, making a difference in the tech world, and who are paving the way for other women to do the same.
Recently I had the privilege of attending #BookingFEMPower, an incredible panel discussion featuring leading lady tech experts in various aspects of the field. Hosted by Booking.com at their Toronto office, the panel was made up of Melissa Sariffodeen, CEO & Co-founder of Canada Learning Code; Dr. Helen Papagiannis, a world-leading expert in the field of Augmented Reality; Huda Idrees, the founder and CEO of Dot Health; and Ioana Popa, Strategy Manager at Booking.com. To stay these women were inspirational would be the understatement of the century. From sharing their tips to avoid burnout (it’s a myth that women have to have or do it all), to sharing advice on how to achieve your goals, and of course the importance of female leadership and mentorship, these women educated and inspired an entire room to live and do better. I left with a pile of girl crushes, and with the drive and desire to not only further my own career, but to help raise other women along with me.
And in the end, isn’t that what International Women’s Day is all about?
To further their goal of helping women succeed in tech, this March, Booking.com has partnered with Canada Learning Code, an organization dedicated to ensuring all Canadians – particularly woman and girls – are given equal opportunity to access tech related education. Booking.com is collaborating with CLC to run a two-part Ladies Learning Code workshop on March 21st and 28th. For only $65 women will get the chance to learn basic coding skills and even build their own website, all in an inclusive and empowering environment. So…where do I sign up? Right HERE!
And if all the learning isn’t enough, there’s an added incentive: workshop participants will get the chance to win a $500 Booking.com travel credit (useable for any of the 1.6 million properties available on the site), as well as a professional one-hour mentorship session with a top female tech leader at Booking.com. If that’s something that appeals to you (duh), all you have to do is tweet about a woman that inspires you using the hashtag #BookingFEMpowers.* That’s it!
“Connecting with strong female role models is crucial to help women advance their careers, especially in the tech industry. Our recent research revealed that 90% of female respondents would be inspired to chase their dreams just by seeing more women in leadership roles,” says Gillian Tans, Booking.com’s CEO. “Booking.com explores female mentorship opportunities wherever we can so that we can continue to support women to progress and excel in their careers.”
As a company, Booking.com is dedicated to providing women everywhere with the tools they need to succeed in tec. From the inaugural Booking.com Technology Playmaker Awards, to Women in Technology scholarships at the University of Oxford and the Delft University of Technology, to now partnering with Ladies Learning Code on coding workshops in Toronto, Booking.com is deep into its mission of raising women up all over the world.
To me, that’s something to celebrate.
So this International Women’s Day, take a moment to celebrate yourself and all the women around you (and all the amazing men that support the cause of equality for all). Live life to the fullest, never stop learning, and never stop working towards your goals. The future is female, and it starts now.
*Winners will be announced at the start of the second workshop on Wednesday March 28th.