Technology

Booking.com’s Gillian Tans: “It is my responsibility to support and empower others”

Ali Coulton

Last year, she was one of the highest paid CEOs in online travel.

She was hailed as the most successful figure in the industry, with headlines praising her humble attitude and modest lifestyle.

And it’s all true. Gillian Tans, the CEO of Booking.com, is remarkably down to earth and casual about her success.

“I never set out to become CEO of one of the world’s leading technology companies, but I’ve always been steered by my curiosity. This led to quite a non-traditional career path and got me where I am today,” Tans told Travel Weekly from her headquarters in Amsterdam.

As one of the most powerful figures in both the travel and tech space, Tans said she is in a unique position to encourage and support women in both fields.

Tans is passionate about changing the dynamic and getting greater numbers of women involved in both industries.

“Technology is one of the key drivers of social and economic change, and as the CEO of Booking.com, I am able to play my part in that,” Tans says with purpose.

“There are women all over the world who are making an incredible impact in technology every day. However, there is still a strong under-representation of women in tech in general.

“This needs to change. Not only do we need more women in technology, we also need to see more of these women in leadership roles.

“One of the barriers cited most often by women is the lack of visible role models.

“Therefore, as a female tech leader, one of my key responsibilities is to share my story and to support, empower and inspire others,” she said.

It’s precisely for this reason that Tans has spearheaded a number of ongoing and active initiatives to try and make the industry a more attractive career choice for talented women.

Booking.com has launched a number of Women in Tech initiatives, both within the walls of the company and outside, including the Booking.com Technology Playmaker Awards, an initiative designed to celebrate, recognise and encourage women at all stages of their career who are disrupting businesses, industries and communities through the use of technology.

“We held our first Technology Playmaker Awards gala dinner coinciding with International Women’s Day this year – seeing so many talented, inspiring women committed to blazing a trail for others was a humbling and incredible moment for me.”

The company has also introduced a scholarship program with two leading European universities – Oxford University and Delft TU – and mentoring program for women at leading tech conferences such as Web Summit, as well as supporting the aims of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition of the European Commission.

Having led Booking.com through the transition from its small start-up beginnings, to being one of the largest e-commerce players in the world, Tans is very proud of the company’s achievements.

“We’ve managed to do so while preserving our own entrepreneurial culture.” It’s through this entrepreneurial vibe and startup mentality that Booking.com is really set apart. And Tans attributes it to the company’s intrinsic ethos.

“The culture and values of Booking.com inform everything we do on a daily basis and we have been careful to preserve these as we have grown.

“They support our community and ambitions, and conversations around these foundational tenets start from day one at onboarding and throughout everyone’s career at Booking.com.

“While managers play a very central role within this, with our bottom-up culture, colleagues within the team also have an impact in carrying over that culture.”

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

  • Alana Morrison

    Gillian tans is a liar and a hypocrite, ive been punished for pointing out her companies many failings, they lie ,cheat, rob folk blind and put lives at risk, bully and threaten others. i have been a victim of their grotesque tactics for months and months. the growing number of complaints and their current score on trust pilot suggests that i am not alone in my opinions, shame on you Gillian Tans and the other executives at booking.com. and now amnesty international are all over you like a rash! BOYCOTT BOOKING.COM! BOOK DIRECT WITH PROPERTY OWNERS AND AVOID BEING CHEATED AND HAVING YOUR LIFE PUT AT RISK.

  • Alana Morrison

    Gillian tans is a liar and a hypocrite, ive been punished for pointing out her companies many failings, they lie ,cheat, rob folk blind and put lives at risk, bully and threaten others. i have been a victim of their grotesque tactics for months and months. the growing number of complaints and their current score on trust pilot suggests that i am not alone in my opinions, shame on you Gillian Tans and the other executives at booking.com. and now amnesty international are all over you like a rash! BOYCOTT BOOKING.COM! BOOK DIRECT WITH PROPERTY OWNERS AND AVOID BEING CHEATED AND HAVING YOUR LIFE PUT AT RISK.

Road & Rail

Tourism

Kiwi rail journey provider closes outdoor carriages due to dangerous selfies

Passengers’ risky behaviour in search of the ultimate selfie has forced the closure of some iconic train viewing platforms.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Travel Agents

Afterpay expands into travel with lay-by holiday offering

by Christian Fleetwood

Travel Weekly’s editor is planning to lay-by a holiday as soon as he finishes paying off a Hot Wheels Corkscrew Crash Track Set from Kmart.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

At least 29 people killed in Madeira tourist bus crash

by Ali Coulton

The driver reportedly lost control of the bus before it plunged off the road and rolled down a hill.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

India’s Jet Airways collapses due to funding shortage

by Huntley Mitchell

It’s turning out to be a day of collapses this fine Thursday, with the office chair of Travel Weekly’s editor having just given way to his posterior.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Etihad to operate entirely plastic-free flight for Earth Day

This Earth Day, Travel Weekly is committing to slapping single-use coffee cups out of the hands of at least three commuters on our way to work. They’ll thank us when they recover from the burns.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Expedia to no longer be a controlled company following new acquisition

Online travel behemoth Expedia has broken the shackles and surfaced from its parent’s basement looking rather healthy, rather than malnourished and disheveled.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

One in five Aussies admit to missing their pets more than their kids when they go away

Pet owners across Australia are no doubt preparing to say tearful goodbyes to their furry life partners before going away this Easter, while simultaneously flipping off their kids.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent wrap: Qantas Holidays rewards premium agents, Bench Africa famil + more!

Does seeing all the famil pictures in our agent wraps make you green with envy? Take comfort in the fact that you don’t have to come into work for the next four days. We know we are.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel wrap: Preferred hotels & resorts new members, Australia gets a second voco + more!

We took a 10-minute break from scoffing Easter eggs to bring you up to date with all the latest hotel openings and deals. You’re welcome.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Tourism

Travel Agents

Wholesalers

Why you need to attend the Amazing Tastes of Thailand roadshow

The Amazing Tastes of Thailand roadshow is just around the corner! Here’s why YOU need to be there.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Carnival cruise ship rescues dozens of people adrift at sea

A Carnival cruise ship has gone all Baywatch and saved the day by helping rescue a vessel carrying more than 20 passengers adrift in the Gulf of Mexico.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

WTF? Air stewards are selling unwashed uniforms on eBay

Inspired by this story, Travel Weekly’s editor is attempting to sell a pair of his unwashed Calvin Klein briefs on Gumtree, all for a low, low price of $1.25 plus shipping.

Share

CommentComments