Companies like Facebook and Coca-Cola have Chief Diversity or Chief Inclusion Officers. Does Booking have such roles in place?
‘We have a diversity and inclusion team. Booking.com has a number of hugely active employee resource groups. For example, the LGBTQ+ community is called B.Proud. It's grassroots, so people get involved because they really want to. When we introduce new product features like Travel Proud, we do multiple focus groups and we ask for their help to make sure we get it right. We also introduced this badge for inclusivity hospitality in travel. Before we launched it, we checked if we were really doing well. Have we looked at all the language on our platform, in our communications, to make sure that we really are as inclusive as we can be in terms of our language? You will now see that we hardly ever use 'Mr. and Mrs.', anymore, or 'he and she'. It's really not necessary.’
Is diversity a goal in itself for Booking, or is it a means to an end?
‘It's a means to an end, of course. Diversity, for us is: A) the corporate culture and B) it creates our company's success. It ensures that our platform can be used by everyone in over 200 countries worldwide without a glitch. We run our marketing campaigns, product, everything in 43 languages and in some 189 countries. It's important to realize that the customer is not just a consumer, but a human being. We're all a little bit different.’