Celebrating Global Communities: Advancing Diversity & Inclusion as an Employee Resource Group Leader

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Deborah Davis-DeWitt

Photo courtesy of Deborah Davis-DeWitt.

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Deborah Davis-DeWitt isn’t just the Senior Technical Program Manager of Developer Experience at Booking.com — a leading digital travel marketplace with the mission to make it easier for people to experience the world. She also plays a pivotal role in the company’s employee resource group (ERG), B.Equal, which aims to attract, retain and help grow women at Booking.com

“I joined B.Equal and decided to focus on recruitment because I see room for growth in the technical space and women in tech,” Davis-DeWitt tells us. “I wanted to provide a way to ensure women are actively recruited and promoted and see how being a part of B.Equal can help in that sphere.”

As part of her work in B.Equal, she mentors “young women to provide them with skills that include technical and emotional intelligence, which is necessary for them to grow in their careers,” explains Davis-DeWitt.

And B.Equal is not the only way that Davis-DeWitt is using her time to empower others. She’s a part of B.Bold (an employee resource group to support, retain and grow Black employees into future leaders at Booking.com) and its Women in Tech group, as well as external groups like Women Who Code, GirlCodeIt, Women in Tech International, and AnitaB.

Supporting women in tech is clearly a cause close to Davis-DeWitt’s heart, and she recently took the time to speak with us to share some of the things she’s learned along the way. Read on to learn more about the influential ERGs at Booking.com, Davis-DeWitt’s involvement with B.Equal, and why she thinks Booking.com is a top company for women.

To start, can you explain how ERGs like B.Equal work at Booking.com?

All of our ERGs have co-chairs and steering committee’s with groups of up to 10 people. B.Equal is the largest ERG group. Our ERGs all started at different times so we have groups of different sizes.

B.Equal meets twice a month and as needed for other projects. The co-chairs also get together weekly and meet once a month with all other ERG co-chairs and separately with the IDBW team. We collaborate closely with other ERGs, corporate leaders and other allies within Booking.com who help influence and advocate for our goals. 

B.Equal's goal setting structure consists of eight pillar programs that have three measurable goals each. Each pillar can have one or multiple owners to drive the outcomes. Some of the B.equal goals that we are working on are:

  • Partner with recruitment to create diverse hiring panels & inclusive language training for recruiters

  • Career Development Program for women in all career levels 

  • Work with the business/recruitment team on recruiting women candidates graduating from school into technical roles 

  • Make Bias training programme mandatory for all employees

  • Create Allyship Program to engage men in the work of B.equal

…to name a few. 

What B.Equal ERG accomplishment are you the most proud of?

We are collaborating with our recruitment team to create programs for our Early Careers program, working with Booking.com leadership to sponsor conferences to engage women in tech, and initiating a caregivers session with a physician — to name just a few accomplishments.

Can you tell us more about Booking.com’s current Early Careers program?

Booking.com has an Early Careers that hires interns and recent college graduates into the Booking.com technology space. We are proud that 49% of the new graduates are women as well as 52% in our overall workforce. 

Why do you believe Booking.com is a supportive place for female employees?

Booking.com is actively involved in female-focused initiatives both internally and externally. Internally, there is B.Equal, where the company fosters support and creates initiatives for women in the company. 

The company also has policies in place that support women in their careers and day-to-day lives.  Because let’s face it, life can be complicated. Whatever comes your way, life is richer when you have the time to care for those you love during life’s highs and lows. On top of our paid annual leave, Booking.com offers a minimum of 22 paid weeks for every parent, 10 days for grandparents, care leave, bereavement leave and anniversary leave.

Acting as a caregiver to my husband while he was battling pancreatic cancer, Booking.com provided me with the tools and time I needed before and after his death. Booking.com has also supported female employees by sponsoring initiatives such as the Women in Tech Conference to attract, retain, and help grow women in tech at Booking.com.

Interested in pursuing a career in the inclusive environment at Booking.com? They’re hiring! Apply here.

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