On the face of it, Travelport compares well with other major technology
companies – 45% of its employees overall are women, 39% in the technology
division and 29% at senior management levels. But processing data to measure
the starting point towards the end of 2017 revealed that progress had stagnated
and that the gender balance had not improved over the previous two years.
The company decided to embark on a deliberate strategy to shift the dial and
create more diversity at all levels – essential for a technology business needing
collaboration and innovation, agile thinking and good decision-making. Key to this
new strategy was a better understanding of the data.
Why is this important?
Companies need to understand exactly where
their biggest challenges lie in attracting,
retaining and developing female talent, so
they can decide on priorities. Travelport was
already gathering a lot of data, but had not
been analysing it critically or reporting it. Once
the company started to do this, it was able to
identify specific problems and start working on
solutions. In particular, the data showed stark
variation at different levels, with fewer midcareer
women progressing to senior roles.
Data analysis can also lead to better
knowledge-sharing and understanding of
what works. For example, the development of
powerful diversity networks at Travelport in the
US provided valuable learning for the company
in the UK.
What are the results?
It is early days in the rollout of the new
programme, but initial awareness-raising has
created a swell of interest and enthusiasm.
Progress is being tracked, feedback is being
sought at all levels as the programme develops
and the goals will be adjusted accordingly.
What is being done?
Having established the baseline, the company
decided on its goals for retaining and
developing female talent and agreed a strategic
plan. At the outset, the Travelport ID (Inclusive
Diversity) campaign was launched to raise
awareness of diversity and inclusion across the
- This works both top-down and bottom-up. It
is led by the senior leadership team and aims
to make everyone – individuals and their
managers – more open-minded about career
- It has high visibility. Posters feature
employees, including senior managers,
telling their own diversity and inclusion
stories. Everyone is invited to contribute their
experiences on a shared site.
- Regional networks have been set up
and events are being held to further the
conversation and celebrate diversity. All of
these are open to both women and men.
In addition, flexible working policies are being
strengthened, senior managers are being trained
in recognising and dealing with unconscious bias
and employees are being putting themselves
forward to be trained as ambassadors to attract
girls into STEM careers through WISE’s People
Like Me campaign.