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Women in Tech Awards finalist Rosa Whyte talks diversity and inclusion at Travelport

Travelport is delighted that Rosa Atahualpa Rudas De Whyte our Product Designer in the Dublin office was selected as a finalist for the Diversity Role Model Award at the Women in Tech Awards.

Travelport Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

In Travelport we strive to continue to grow an inclusive culture that respects and values everyone; for their ideas, collaboration and ability to achieve the best we can.

RosaWhyte Blog

 

Women in Tech Awards Diversity Role Model Finalist

The Diversity Role Model Award celebrates someone within the tech industry who is contributing to developing a culture that allows the most skilled and talented people to succeed, regardless of gender, race, physical abilities or sexual orientation. Rosa has integrated Diversity, Equity & Inclusion into the very heart of Travelport and demonstrates how she acted as a leader within the organization to build an inclusive and fair workforce, whilst serving as an inspiration to others.

What does Diversity Mean to Rosa

We asked Rosa what diversity means to her.

"Coming from a country where equal rights for women and the inclusivity of minorities are almost non-existent, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) for me, at its core, means equality and acceptance, it is also a call to action, to not only help evolve our immediate environment, but to set trends that can help improve experiences for everybody.”

So, how did the team get the entire company including our leadership team onboard with the initiative? “We started by uniting a team of individuals who are passionate about DE&I in Travelport Digital Dublin, with different perspectives and experiences. We invested time learning about the problem (if there truly was one) and determining our goals. The learnings at this stage were critical to helping us define our approach to such an important movement for the company, and us personally. 

“We focused on aligning with Travelport Digital’s Senior Management team and HR, who listened, empathized and supported our goal from the outset. They also positively challenged us to be change agents across the company. We found many allies, and we attribute that in large part to the company’s open culture and our collective willingness to acknowledge our own uniqueness and embrace DE&I…our efforts merely helped awaken this dormant giant.”

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The Travelport Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Team

“On 14th February, the DE&I team, and other brave volunteers, stood in front of the Dublin office to tell our most intimate stories. With the objective of letting others know that we’ve all struggled at times to be accepted and how important it is to be able to be vulnerable with your colleagues. We received overwhelming support, but most importantly, after telling our stories, many colleagues approached us to share their stories and challenges, which is/was the fundamental objective. This again goes back to culture and our support from our leadership stems from our desire to not only improve our immediate environment today, but to drive last changing for tomorrow.”

Why Diversity and Inclusion is so important in the workplace

Rosa strongly emphasizes the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace: “Having greater diversity is better for companies, products and individuals, on all levels. An environment where people feel safe is one where people will do their best work, bring different points of view, ultimately driving positive outcomes for the business.” 

 

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International Women’s Day

Rosa also played a key role in running Travelport’s 2019 International Women’s Day celebrations in the Dublin office. She championed several initiatives, which helped raise awareness of gender diversity such as: 

  • Researching inspiring female role models from around the world and presenting information about them around the offices. 
  • Creating an ‘inspiration board’, where colleagues could add details of women who inspire them and why 
  • Collating various reading materials about diversity in the workplace and placing them in common areas, so colleagues could read them while on lunch 

#NiUnaMenos (Not One Less) 

Rosa leads by example not only in her work, but in her community. She was one of the organizers of the  #NiUnaMenos chapter both in Lima and Dublin, a Latin American group who united against femicides and violence against women. The movement initiated in Argentina, subsequently spreading across the continent. 

Rosa says, “As a Latin American woman with family (mother, sister and nieces) and friends who've suffered and continue to tolerate extreme inequality and oppression, it is very important to me to empower all women, not just in Latin America, but globally, building awareness amongst our allies and educating those who are unaware.”

“Living over 10,000 kilometres away, I was not content to let the distance suppress the progression of the cause. I created the #NiUnaMenos group in Ireland, organizing events and educational talks which were aligned with the protests taking place in Lima, Peru and across Latin America. This, in fact, formed part of a global awareness campaign to build awareness of the problem that millions of people live through on a daily basis, not specifically Latin America. Peruvians united across Ireland and the globe leveraging different mediums of communication including radio and social media to change laws and society to build a better future, where women in Peru and across the world can live without fear.”

Rosa_Wall
 

Pride and Accessibility

The DE&I team also work across different initiatives regarding gender, accessibility and LGBTQI+. The team led the Pride event in the office educating each week on a multitude of topics from gender expression, beyond LGBTQI+, pride history and civil rights. 

ID August_Social Size

The team also drive accessibility within the organization. They run Hack Access workshops on accessibility to alleviate issues and problems organizations may have. The team have piloted a new indoor way-finding with gender inclusive signs; also, they designated the toilet originally dedicated for people with disability to be used by everyone regardless of their gender and/or ability. The change might seem small to most but it's a steppingstone toward creating a real sense of belonging for all our colleagues and making everyone really feel welcome at work. 

Without a doubt, Rosa has integrated diversity equity and inclusion into the very heart of Travelport Digital and is a key player as we continue to build an inclusive and fair workforce. She is an inspiration to those around her and it’s safe to say that our DE&I programme, and our organization, would not be the same without her. 

Travelport were also proud sponsors of the Digital Transformation Award at the Women In Tech Awards which took place on the 10th of October where Yemi Oluseun from Barclays took home the gong. The winner of the Digital Transformation Award is tech savvy, data driven and has inspired teams to engage in rapid experimentation that drives transformation and positive business outcomes.

Read more about what our employees say about being Women in Tech on our blog.

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