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PhocusWire and Expedia Group offer insights to become a more diverse and inclusive company

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White paper designed to help travel companies address bias and support marginalized groups.

SEATTLE, WASH. - Diversity in the workplace helps with talent acquisition and retention, customer acquisition and higher financial returns, according to a new white paper co-authored by PhocusWire and Expedia Group. “Gender Diversity in the Travel Industry” examines why diversity and inclusion matters in the workplace, with case studies from American Airlines, Avis Budget Group, HEI Hotels and Resorts and Marriott International, illustrating how companies can be more diverse and more inclusive. 

Comprehensive diversity and inclusion (D&I) research shows the many advantages that a diverse workforce brings, from stronger talent recruitment and retention, to customer acquisition. In addition, companies with higher D&I show 19% higher revenue due to innovation and are 35% more likely to have above-median financial returns.

The U.S. travel market overall is majority women (58%), a step in the right direction, yet represent only 5% of the industry CEOs and 9% of presidents, according to the Castell Project. In fact, 70% of respondents in a Phocuswright 2018 study considered the industry’s performance on gender parity “poor to adequate.”

“I spend a lot of my time just having conversations with a range of people both inside and outside of our organization, and this is a topic that people are really passionate about”, said Melissa Maher, chief inclusion officer and SVP marketing and industry engagement, Expedia Group. “D&I is a journey that requires constant listening, learning, and implementation of policies and programs that foster inclusion and belonging. At Expedia Group, we are deeply committed to an inclusive culture, as we know it is key to making us a stronger and smarter company.”

Expedia Group and PhocusWire offer the following tips for companies to address the disparity, which include:

  • Start at the individual level: make sure every individual feels included and embraced to drive greater employee satisfaction
  • Develop programs and initiatives that cross departments and levels: cross-collaboration drives feelings of inclusion
  • Recruit with D&I in mind: Recruit broadly and leverage gender balancing tools like Textio to remove gender language and bias in job descriptions
  • Provide a path for leadership growth: form councils within the company to directly address growth bias, and mentor diverse candidates for leadership positions
  • Become a better ally: An ally takes action for the equality of marginalized groups: they mentor, call out inappropriate behavior and use inclusive language.
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