Booking.com has introduced a $350,000 scholarship program through its Women in Tech initiative to leading universities in the US, including Cornell and Spelman, in support of women pursuing education in STEM-related fields. The booking site is also supporting a Code-a-thon hosted by Laura Dern.
Recent research commissioned by Booking.com showcased the need to influence women’s career considerations in their early years, with 81% of women saying exposure to certain skills early on influences their career selection and 76% saying the subjects they are studying or have studied will have an impact on their careers.
Additionally, for those interested in a career in tech, role models and mentors are particularly crucial, with 51% of high school girls saying mentors are essential for women to succeed in tech, and 54% believing women should seek out opportunities to share experiences to help improve diversity.
Booking.com stated that its goal is to support these needs through Women in Tech initiatives like the Code-a-thon, hosted by actor and activist Dern.
As a role model for women around the world, Dern stated, in a release: “I’m beyond thrilled to be a part of such an impactful event for young women. I’ve played many strong female characters throughout my career, but nothing compares to the strength and passion I’ve seen from these incredible young women. I’m proud to work with Booking.com on the inspiring initiatives they are doing to uplift and empower women in technology.”
The Code-a-thon was hosted at the CNET Smart Home located in the heart of San Francisco, where 10 young women, selected by a panel of judges at Booking.com, joined an innovative two-day technology immersion. Sessions included learning the essential elements to the language of coding, from front end to back end applications, mentoring opportunities from some of Booking.com’s brightest tech talent.
The women also visited Booking.com’s local office to see how the brand leverages a wider range of technology to create experiences for travelers.