Lauren von Stackelberg, Global Head of Inclusion & Diversity, Expedia Group
On Tuesday 9 June, we offered all Expedia Group employees a day off to pause and to reflect in honor of the memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other innocent Black lives taken too soon because of racial injustice. Employees had the opportunity to spend time with their loved ones and to consider how each of us can be a much-needed force for change in our world, our communities, and our companies.
As a corporation, Expedia Group is also reflecting on what we can do to make an impactful change. We must do more than speak up and stand with Black people battling systemic injustice. We must dedicate ourselves to relentlessly fighting for real and lasting social change together – not just now, but always. As the world’s travel platform, we are committed to taking the actions required to accelerate this change in the world for our employees, customers, partners and communities.
We acknowledge that true progress begins with honesty and transparency. We should be further along. We know progress and change are overdue. We know silence and inaction further oppression. Through not saying and doing enough, we have been part of the problem. We commit to being a bigger part of the solution and to lead by example with clear intent, actions and impact. We must do better, and we will. While we have made some impact on inclusion, we’ve not focused enough on race.
How are we committing to change?
We will leverage education to drive behavior change and mindset shifts. We will enhance and expand our existing bias training and expect all our employees to participate. Also, we will expand our existing allyship training and expect all managers to participate. This will help educate employees and to learn how to use their privilege to support others who are targets because of their identities. We will provide new resources and trainings for our employees to work toward unlearning racism and unconscious bias.
Empowering & Amplifying Diverse Voices
We will actively listen to divergent and marginalized voices. We will increase the visibility and support for our Inclusion Business Groups (IBGs). We will continue to ensure all our employees listen to and learn from lived experiences and identities different to their own and feel empowered to speak up and to amplify a diverse range of voices. We will increase our commitment to using inclusive imagery and diverse customer perspectives in our marketing and advertising.
Interrupting Bias in our Policies & Practices
We will be intentional in identifying how we can dismantle racism through our policies and practices for everyone we serve. We will focus on our employees’ and travelers’ safety.
Creating Equal Opportunity for Tech Talent
We will drive change in our communities to promote racial equity in technology. We will do more to facilitate education and training to unlock the tech world to a more diverse set of students. We will connect underrepresented talent with more job opportunities.
We will require inclusive, equitable hiring practices. We have done some of this but will enhance at a greater rate. All hiring managers and interviewers will be trained in understanding bias. We will create mechanisms to ensure we always have a diverse pool of candidates and interviewers for every job. We will focus on being more representative of our travelers.
Ensuring Accountability via Goal Setting
We will integrate Inclusion & Diversity into our business goals to ensure personal accountability from individual employees all the way to our CEO. We will ask every employee to set an Inclusion & Diversity goal. We will regularly share progress against our goals.
Creating Safe Spaces for Difficult Conversations
We will be bold and not shy away from ‘difficult’ conversations. We will create psychologically safe spaces for feedback, reflection and growth. We will encourage our teams to consider both their intent and their impact, to acknowledge, learn and grow from their mistakes, and to find their own clear next steps. We will host regular company-wide conversations led by our Inclusion & Diversity team and Inclusion Business Groups. We will be mindful of where the burden lies and prioritize self-care and wellbeing.
With a workforce representing a diverse range of lived experiences in countries around the world, we believe we can and will create real, lasting, global change. We acknowledge that inclusion is a journey, not a destination. We’ve been on this journey for a while and we are committing to it with more energy and purpose today. You have our promise: this won’t be the last you hear and see from us on this.