women in tech web summit

Web Summit renews its partnership with Booking.com to promote gender equality through the Women in Tech mentor program.

Booking.com and Web Summit will team up once again to host a dedicated Women in Tech (WIT) networking and mentoring program at the flagship Lisbon Web Summit event, which takes place November 5-8.

Last year’s women’s mentoring program attracted nearly 200 participants, with 60 high-profile mentors from across the tech sector, including Booking.com CEO Gillian Tans and other executives from the travel ecommerce platform.

women in tech web summit
Gillian Tans

“We are excited to partner with Web Summit again this year to build on the strong demand and engagement we saw in 2017 and to continue our efforts in driving gender diversity in tech at a global level,” said Tans.

Recent data suggests that 90% of women working in technology across the world have experienced gender bias in the workplace and this, coupled with the lack of mentors (48%) and female role models (42%), are the top three obstacles preventing women from choosing to advance their careers in tech,” she added.

The WIT Mentor Program is about making tech more diverse and more inclusive than it ever has been. In 2017 the Booking.com Mentor Lounge hosted a series of 20-minute pre-scheduled meetings with speakers, partners, investors and tech mentors on topic such as Grow, Lead, and Change – each offering the chance to be inspired and learn from women who have grown, led and changed the tech industry.

women in tech web summit
Paddy Cosgrave

“We launched our women in tech initiative three years ago to increase the number of women participating at our events around the world. This commitment to change resulted in a female/male gender ratio at Web Summit of 42% / 58% for the last two years,” said Paddy Cosgrave, CEO and Co-Founder of Web Summit.

“We are pleased to partner again with Booking.com to further this important cause and provide a platform for raising awareness about gender equality in the tech industry globally. The partnership with Booking.com will help us provide further opportunities for female tech talent attending our events to network with and learn from some of the most successful tech entrepreneurs in the industry today,” added Cosgrave.

Web Summit runs the world’s most highly regarded technology events which bring together world leaders, Fortune 500 companies, tech giants and groundbreaking startups to examine and celebrate the latest advances in technology.

The Women in Tech initiative has been gaining a lot of notoriety, particularly in Portugal.

Earlier this week, the Portuguese Women in Tech platform put out an open call to compile a list of all potential Portuguese Female Speakers, so that women could make up at least 40% of all speakers at tech conferences throughout Portugal.

Read More: Portuguese Women in Tech wants your help in making Female Speakers List for events

At the time of the publication, the list was just shy of 100, and anyone who wishes to add a female speaker to the list may do so here.

The Female Speakers List initiative is led by Liliana Castro, Founder and Manager at FES Agency, along with the Co-Founder of Portugal Startups and Startup Pirates, Inês Santos Silva.

Silva is also a Special Adviser for the Cabinet of the Secretary of State of Industry in Porto.

Booking.com will also host the first of a number of networking initiatives for women at the Booking.com Women in Tech lounge at Collision 2018, being held in New Orleans, USA, from April 30 -May 3.

Collison brings together CEOs of the world’s fastest growing startups and Fortune 500 companies, alongside leading investors and media.

The travel e-commerce company will also host the Women in Tech networking lounge at RISE 2018, which takes place July 9-12 in Hong Kong and is the largest tech conference in Asia. The event attracts more than 15,000 attendees each year from over 100 countries.

“We are expanding our partnership with Web Summit with marquee events in Europe, North America and Asia to continue the conversations about gender diversity and to support women through mentoring and providing more opportunities for them to collaborate, network and share experiences,” said Tan.

This global partnership will give us another platform to help pivot gender inequalities and gaps in the male-dominated tech workplace and encourage more women from across the world to become positive role models for others,” the Booking.com CEO added.

In eight years, Web Summit has grown from 400 attendees to over 60,000 attendees from more than 150 countries.

Since its inception in 2010 with a team of 3, the platform rapidly grew to a team of over 170 people between its headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, and its operations in Lisbon, Hong Kong, San Francisco, and New York.