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

The launch comes as Expedia Group’s CEO signs the ‘CEO Action’ pledge

Expedia Group CEO Mark Okerstrom
Expedia Group CEO Mark Okerstrom

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

Named the Travel Industry Group, it comprises US and multinational companies, working towards such goals as promoting inclusive language and workplace environments. It also hosts training on diversity marketing, gender balance, accessibility and cultural awareness.

The group arranges roundtables, research, and industry events on the matter of inclusion and acceptance.  

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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.

Okerstrom and others work towards creating and sharing strategic inclusion and diversity plans with boards of directors; sharing practices; implementing and expanding unconscious bias education; and continuing to make workplaces trusting places.

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 from the group include its ‘Textio’ technology platform. Textio reveals 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.

Expedia Group’s chief inclusion officer and senior vice president, marketing and industry engagement, Melissa Maher, said: “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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