SAN FRANCISCO, CA - WeTravel- the integrated-payment and booking platform for multi-day travel businesses, used by thousands of organizers- is introducing a paid Engineering Tech Internship Program in its business to hire workers who might not otherwise have opportunities in the tech field through peer recommendations, industry partnerships and active recruitment in communities.
The inspiration for the paid Engineering Tech Internship Program came from Nubar Khalidova, one of WeTravel’s back-end developers, and her personal experience working as a woman in technology.
She believes many people have “… the talent to succeed in technology but educational, cultural, and societal barriers prevent them from feeling comfortable to pursue technology as a career.” Working alongside the Head of Engineering, Khalidova brought on the business’s first intern earlier this year, Raqsana Alizade, who she has trained and empowered to succeed not only in tech, but in WeTravel.
To further encourage better representation in technology - and set precedent for the industry that creating internship programs to open opportunities for those passionate about learning technology, with non-traditional experience - the pair created the business’s first Engineering Internship Program, they will be the first mentors.
“I began my career in tech through a sponsorship program, which landed me at WeTravel. I firmly believe people, who may be blocked by societal, cultural or educational barriers, may want to learn more about technology but haven’t had an opportunity,” said Khalidova. “If every tech business was to actively recruit and support underrepresented people, from all backgrounds and with incredible experience, to learn technology, I believe we’d have better representation in the industry.”
Gender equity in technology, especially travel technology, is a pressing issue that has been exacerbated by the pandemic. According to data from AnitaB.org, women technologists made-up nearly 29 percent of the workforce in 2020. Though, the still-low percentage was decimated by the global pandemic, which saw an overall decline in women in the workforce (in every sector); according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women lost one million more jobs than men in 2020 alone.
As the business has already doubled its headcount in 2022, it plans to again double from today its headcount by the end of 2022. At the year’s end, the business projects to have more than 150 employees, working from five continents, representing more than 30 nationalities. In alignment with the business’s strategy for equal opportunity within its business, the Engineering Internship Program will support the business’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) hiring commitment, with an aim for 60 percent of its cohorts to identify as women, which will support the business’s goal to have 25 percent of its expanding Engineering team identify as women by the end of 2022. Opening the Program to all regions and experience levels, will encourage a diverse pool of applicants, who can add immense, non-traditional value and experience to the business.
“The time to start is now,” said Khalidova. “We’ve come such a far way to encourage better representation across industries, but travel and technology have bigger strides to make; I think every business should take action to actively commit to actionable ways to have a diverse team.”
As an Intern - who needs a minor technology background to apply - with WeTravel, candidates will be paid to learn about one of three engineering verticals: front-end development, back-end development, or full-stack development. Once a vertical is selected, each intern will be paired with a partner to learn about their vertical, complete assignments and tasks, and work on a final project to be implemented into WeTravel’s product. The program will run in three- to 12-month intervals, with five interns per cohort. At completion, the paid interns who meet technical requirements will be offered an employment opportunity with WeTravel’s Engineering team.
“As a growing - but still start-up - business, we’re proving that at any stage in your business’s journey you can make an impact for a better represented industry, as you grow your impact will continue to grow,” said Johannes Koeppel, WeTravel’s CEO and co-founder.