Today Booking.com announced the launch of the first Technology Playmaker Awards. Created by Booking.com, the awards aim to celebrate and recognize women who have disrupted, and continue to transform businesses, industries, and communities through the use of technology.
Now open for entries at http://www.techplaymakerawards.com, the Technology Playmaker Awards include 10 categories which celebrate many aspects of technology including entrepreneurship, innovation, community impact, and technology leadership. The overall grand prix award will be awarded to the female technology leader whom the judges consider to be the most impactful individual in the European technology space. Each category winner will receive a prize of $5,900 to help them advance their business and professional goals, with the overall grand prix winner earning a $11,800 award.
Chaired by Gillian Tans, CEO of Booking.com, the judging panel will include leading figures from across the technology industry, related sectors and from Booking.com. Judges include Marili 't Hooft-Bolle, COO of WeTransfer, Ruth Chandler, Chief People Officer at Skyscanner, Jon Reynolds, CEO and Co-Founder of SwiftKey, and Maija Palmer, Digital and Communities Editor at the Financial Times.
The winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony on March 8, 2018 at the Sackler Hall of the Museum of London, where Randi Zuckerberg, Founder & CEO of Zuckerberg Media and former Director of Market Development for Facebook, will give the keynote address. Randi Zuckerberg will share her unique experience in helping to shape the success of Facebook and building a successful career as a businesswoman, digital leader and published author.
According to a report by the European Commission, having more women in the technology sector could boost the EU's GDP by $10 billion a year. However, women currently make up only 30% of the 7 million people working in Europe'sdigital sector. While the underrepresentation of women is a worldwide challenge, European tech start-ups led by women are particularly affected, with only 14.7% of European tech unicorns being founded by women compared to 17% in the US. Booking.com wants to recognize and support the European technology scene, including those women driving innovation.
To address this gender imbalance and celebrate successful women in tech on the continent, the inaugural Booking.com Technology Playmaker Awards will in their first year be focused on Europe.
"As one of the most successful European start-ups, we are proud to launch these awards to celebrate the women who are inspiring and innovating across the digital sector in Europe. Diversity of all kinds has been core to Booking.com's culture since the company was founded 20 years ago and more than half of our workforce today is comprised of women. Preserving our position as one of the most diverse and gender-balanced tech companies in the world is as important to us today as it was at the start.
Today's world is increasingly driven by technology innovation. Now more than ever we need positive female role models and an industry culture that celebrates female tech talent. We hope that the Technology Playmaker Awards will become a source of inspiration for future generations of women embracing opportunities in the technology world", said Gillian Tans, CEO of Booking.com and Chairman of the Technology Playmaker Awards judging panel.
Along with this initiative, Booking.com will also be participating and speaking at The European Women in Technology Summit in Amsterdam on November 8-9, 2017 as well as partnering with the Web Summit in Lisbon on November 6-9, 2017 for a Women in Tech mentorship program.
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