Summaries

Diversity in Tech - From the Why To the How | Gillian Tans (former CEO of Booking.com) | Slush 2023

Published
December 8, 2023
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3
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Updated
December 18, 2023
Jenna Pitkälä
Diversity in Tech - From the Why To the How | Gillian Tans (former CEO of Booking.com) | Slush 2023
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Want to learn the best business insights from remarkable speakers at Slush 2023, but don’t have the time to watch the full speeches on YouTube?

You’ve come to the right place. Below is a summary of a speech by Emma Lehikoinen, COO at Swappie and Gillian Tans, the former CEO of booking.com.

(psst: the notes were automatically generated with Wudpecker's AI notetaking tool. If you'd like to check these notes + transcript + audio recording without needing to log in, press here.)

<p class="h1-rich">🤏 TL;DR</p>

Gillian's journey with Booking.com, from startup to global travel giant, highlighted the importance of DEI. Companies need to prioritize diversity and inclusion at every level, and DEI leads to better cultures, increased creativity, and improved innovation. Action items include implementing a diverse talent pipeline, ensuring diversity in the interview process, building an inclusive culture, and stepping out of your comfort zone to connect with different communities.

<p class="h1-rich">✨ Summary</p>

Gillian's Journey with Booking.com

  • Gillian spent almost 20 years with Booking.com and played various roles, including COO, CEO, and chairwoman.
  • She led the company's expansion from a startup to a global travel giant.
  • Gillian highlighted the different phases of growing a company, from finding product-market fit to scaling globally and focusing on innovation.

Realizing the Importance of DEI

  • Gillian's realization of the importance of DEI came in two moments: when she was pregnant with her first child and when someone commented on the lack of role models within the company.
  • She emphasizes that companies need to work on every level to prioritize diversity and inclusion, including leadership.

The Importance of DEI

  • DEI leads to better cultures, increased creativity, and improved innovation.
  • Companies that prioritize DEI have better results.
  • Many companies see themselves as beginners in DEI and need guidance on how to implement it effectively.

Measuring DEI

  • Companies should measure DEI in areas such as recruitment, promotions, and engagement surveys.
  • Data is crucial for tracking progress and assessing the impact of DEI initiatives.
  • Self-assessments and diverse interview panels can also help gather valuable data.

Recruiting Diverse Talent

  • Startups should focus on eliminating biases in recruitment and sourcing candidates from diverse talent pools.
  • Building a diverse talent pipeline takes time and effort but yields better results.
  • Interview panels should be diverse to ensure a diverse perspective in candidate evaluation.

Building an Inclusive Culture

  • Building an inclusive culture requires active effort and an open mindset.
  • Leaders play a crucial role in shaping the culture and should be selected based on their ability to build inclusive workplaces.
  • Startups should actively connect with different communities and step out of their comfort zones to foster inclusivity.

Learning from Booking.com's Journey

  • Booking.com's journey taught Gillian the importance of understanding and addressing different perspectives and needs.
  • An open mindset, willingness to listen, and constant improvement are key to success in DEI.
  • Ownership of DEI should be shared by everyone in the company, not just the HR or DEI department.
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Diversity in Tech - From the Why To the How | Gillian Tans (former CEO of Booking.com) | Slush 2023
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Diversity in Tech - From the Why To the How | Gillian Tans (former CEO of Booking.com) | Slush 2023
Min Read
Diversity in Tech - From the Why To the How | Gillian Tans (former CEO of Booking.com) | Slush 2023
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