06-03-2024

International Women´s Day 2024 stories from Etraveli Group: How do we #InspireInclusion?

Etraveli Group_International Women´s Day 2024 stories from Etraveli Group: How do we #InspireInclusion?

This year's IWD theme is about inclusion. In a nutshell, this global campaign wanted to raise awareness of the fact that when we inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion, we forge a better world. When women themselves are inspired to be included, there's a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment. But what does this mean in practice?

To join the global dialogue, we have collected input from various female employees across our sites, sharing their perspectives and experiences around inclusion and we summarize here what it means to be a woman within a tech company in the flight industry?

FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT

Etraveli Group is getting more and more international, opening sites in many different countries and obtaining a unique rich mix of talented people from various cultures, backgrounds, and nationalities. To many of us, our office location is far from what we call home. Like Alejandra's, who less than a year ago joined our offices in Stockholm as a Junior Product Owner “My first impressions were that the atmosphere in the office is very friendly and international, and that, even though it is a tech company, there are a lot of women working here. I felt included from the moment I was received by my manager and introduced to the rest of my colleagues in the office. Definitely a positive impact; it felt good, comfortable and safe from the first moment, especially since I have started working from a country which is not the one I come from”.

On a similar note, Magda, part of our Customer Services team in Athens recalls how the team welcomed her when she joined the company. “I was amazed that everybody smiled at me. That was new and so refreshing! I remember my team leader hugging me when I first met her and I felt so impressed with her warmth. I immediately had a good feeling about working here.”

It looks that sometimes our communication style, body language, or simply the smile that we put up while we onboard someone is enough to make them feel comfortable and safe. Jillian from our Finance Team in Toronto had even from her interview phase a positive sentiment towards the company and its people “From the very first interview I felt that people were authentic and as I spent more time meeting different people I realized it was true”. It was 6 months after the 1st day she joined, while at the annual Forum, she truly experienced the feeling of belonging. “Everyone was together and just enjoying each other's company and dancing and I felt that I was truly part of the team”.

“I AM SEEN”

All it needs is to be valued for what you truly are and what you achieve; For Ayman, a member of Customer Services Team in Mumbai it was all about showing empathy and adaptability; “During difficult times, the company supported me with the option to work from home for a long period and this was something that helped me be more productive and focused, even in such a hard situation”. As for Riyanka, part of the Tech crew in Gothenburg but originally from India, it was all about giving her the space to bring something new - yet important to her - to the rest of the team. She explains “When I joined Etraveli Group three years ago, I suggested a small celebration for an Indian festival, and it turned into something wonderful. As someone new to the country, it felt like “a home away from home”. Now, we celebrate two Indian festivals, and each year, it becomes a bigger celebration and I love seeing people from around the world celebrating together”.

On a slightly different note, the two examples below are from Pune and highlight the importance of recognition. When employees feel that their hard work and dedication are being noticed and celebrated, it fosters a sense of belonging and purpose. According to Nowshin, “Recognition can be anything - from simple verbal praises to awards or even well-deserved promotions. Etraveli Group has made me feel like a valued employee, integral to the team's success, and made me proud to come to work each day and do my best". Simranjeet, a member of TripStack’s tech team recalls that “Whenever me or my team has achieved a significant milestone or demonstrated exceptional teamwork, the organization/leadership made sure to acknowledge and honor our efforts. This recognition has a positive impact by boosting my morale, reinforcing a sense of accomplishment, and fostering a supportive and appreciative workplace culture”.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

When it comes to the actual work we look for another keyword and that could not be different from “equal”. Women feel included and empowered when they are treated with fairness and parity, given the same access and opportunities as the rest of their team members, irrespective of the industry they work in.

Vaani who is in our Finance team in Mumbai recalls with positivity that every time the team "Recognised my skills and abilities to perform the tasks and solve problems. I was given some major projects to handle and they always accepted my opinions without being gender biased”.
Elena, Development Manager in Athens admits that “Our daily reality is based on the principle that 'What individuals bring to the table holds greater weight than their gender’. Also, paying attention to details in our interactions, ensuring gender equality in our language and attitudes, creates an environment where I feel both comfortable and psychologically safe”.

Similarly, Sarah from TripStack working in a mostly men-dominated department, recalls “Two special moments that stand out to me are when I was selected to contribute on a cross-functional project, collaborating with diverse teams and backgrounds and a similar significant moment when I was chosen as a dedicated code reviewer, tasked with improving code performance within our team. Being entrusted with these responsibilities made me feel truly valued, respected, and included within our organization. It was a powerful affirmation of my capabilities and contributions, instilling a deep sense of confidence and pride in my work”.
As for Noorain, currently working in our Customer Services Team in Pune it was about the management recognizing their capabilities “They will actively support and encourage you to move forward with your career path, suggesting you Internal Job Positions to apply for”.

AN INCLUSIVE AND RESPECTFUL COMPANY CULTURE

While at Etraveli Group we praise ourselves for our open culture, historically women - especially within tech - had to break barriers and develop strategies to be heard. According to Alicja, a data engineer working in our offices in Poland “During my career, the main barrier I had to break was speaking up and asking questions if I didn't know something and feeling helpless. I used to be afraid to ask for help because I felt incompetent, but the problem was only in my head. Everybody here was very supportive and I believe it should be standard in every company”.
Noorain, who describes herself as an introvert, explains “My colleagues and leaders are always available for guidance, feedback, and, most importantly, they consistently motivate us. This has provided me with the opportunity to open up, express my opinions, and confidently participate in discussions”.

Caroline from the Finance team in Uppsala shared her personal experience and how it boosted her confidence. “As a newcomer, I felt right away that my point of view matters and that there were no stupid questions. I think it’s a virtuous circle: when you know you are going to be listened to, you feel more confident to speak up and raise your point.” and according to Shailee, a software engineer in Pune “The sense of always being heard is the reason for best utilization of my skills over here”. Maria, part of the HR team, recalls the time she returned from her maternity break. “I was invited to present during the HR offsite meeting. For me who hasn't even spoken anything but baby language for the past months, that felt challenging, but the whole team made me feel so warm and comfortable, actively listening and nodding while I was presenting. This feeling fueled me with so much positive energy & motivation and speeded up my re-onboarding in the company”.

Numerous similar personal stories across Etraveli Group include but are not limited to different leadership approaches and communication styles, zero tolerance policies that create a safe space, as well as targeted educational programs that lead to an even more inclusive workplace. Companies need to remain responsible and committed to their Inclusion & Diversity efforts regardless of what is already achieved. At Etraveli Group, we are committed to creating an inclusive space where every individual can bring their authentic selves to work. And we will continue our roadmap of actions to support Inclusion & Diversity.

About Etraveli Group

Etraveli Group is a leading global technology provider for flights focused on offering the best possible flight content delivered through flexible tech solutions to the consumer and any company facing the consumer. Through our own consumer brands like Gotogate, Mytrip, Flightnetwork and through our global partnerships with the likes of Google Flights, Skyscanner, Kayak, Booking.com and others we provide search, book and fulfilment services of Flights and related products. The Group also operates the airline integration company TripStack and the leading price comparison site in Sweden; Flygresor.se. The headquarters are located in Uppsala, and the group also has offices in Athens, Toronto, Stockholm, Gothenburg, two cities in India, Krakow and Montevideo, as well as outsourced operations in India and China. Since 2017, private-equity firm CVC Capital Partners owns Etraveli Group.