Expedia Group launches sub-group to increase diversity and inclusion in industry

Expedia Group launches sub-group to increase diversity and inclusion in industry
Expedia Group CEO Mark Okerstrom
Published: 17 November 2019 - 1:15 p.m.
By: Josh Corder

Travel agency conglomerate Expedia Group has announced it has launched a sub-group to focus on improving inclusion and diversity throughout the industry.

The group, named the Travel Industry Group, comprises US and multinational companies. It works towards such goals as promoting inclusive language and workplace environments, and hosts training on diversity marketing, gender balance, accessibility and cultural awareness.

It also arranges roundtables, research, and industry events on the matter of inclusion and acceptance.

Travel Industry Group took shape once Expedia Group’s CEO, Mark Okerstrom, signed the ‘CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion’ (CEO Action). The pledge has Okerstrom join more than 750 other CEOs in bettering inclusive practices in the industry.

The pledge has Okerstrom and others working towards the following: to create and share strategic inclusion and diversity plans with boards of directors; to share best—and unsuccessful—practices; to implement and expand unconscious bias education; and to continue to make workplaces trusting places.

On the topic of diversity, the group points out that is has managed equal pay for both men and women in equivalent roles, as well as having 52% of its workforce being females.

Other inclusive practices hailing from the group include its ‘Textio’ technology platform. Textio works to reveal hidden language patterns in job ads that impact the diversity and quality of applicants. The group also uses ‘HireViue’, a video interview interface to help reduce bias.

Melissa Maher, chief inclusion officer and senior vice president, marketing and industry engagement, Expedia Group, said that: “A diverse workforce creates a more creative, more productive environment with increased trust and less fear–an environment where employees, and in turn, the companies, thrive,”

“As travel leaders, we have an amazing opportunity to bring the world within reach and champion change in our industry and in our companies, committing to making our industry a better, more inclusive environment.” Maher concludes.

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