What triggered you to choose the career you are in and still inspires you in your path today?
Role models are often sources of aspirations and inspirations in our careers. Unfortunately, in this day and age, women are still underrepresented in Tech careers. This impacts the capability of future generations, as well as those women who may want or need to reconvert into Tech professions. Many teams, — and companies as a whole — do not profit from the benefits of diversity and miss out on valuable talents. A white paper by eco-Association of the Internet highlights: “In order to get more women interested in IT and technology, the visibility of female role models plays a central role. This is underlined by both studies and empirical experiences of female IT professionals” (eco - Association of the Internet) .
According to the Global Gender Report 2021, women’s representation in “emerging jobs” is the following:
- Cloud Computing (14%)
- Engineering (20%)
- Data and AI (32%)
- Product Development (37%)
(World Economic Forum, 2021, p. 61) 
If we look into leadership roles, as per the Global Gender Gap Report 2022, the share of women in leadership roles in the Technology industry is of 24% (World Economic Forum, 2022, p. 37). The good news is that the Technology industry is also the one that showed the biggest improvement in the hiring rate for women into leadership since 2016 (World Economic Forum, 2022, p. 38) . Further investments need to be made in future generations to close gaps as “taking into account graduates from all fields, the percentage of women graduates in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is 1,7% compared to 8,2% of men graduates.” (World Economic Forum, 2022, p. 7) . In Germany, the percentage of women employed in STEM-jobs is ca. 17% according to the German Employment Agency .
The Creation of the FAME group
With this in mind, we created F.A.M.E last year at trivago. The initiative is part of our Diversity & Inclusion Strategy to increase the share of female Tech talents at trivago, which is already above demographic average. As of January 2023, the share of female Tech talents at trivago is 28,3% (with an increase of 2.2pp compared to 2022) and the share of female Tech leads is of 23,9% (with an increase of 6,5pp compared to 2022).
F.A.M.E stands for “Female Ambassadors and Mentors in Engineering”. It is a group of around 15 trivago talents with deliberately widespread technical competencies. The mission of the group is to establish female role models for the IT engineering profession that regularly shares experiences and career opportunities to inspire, empower, and attract female talents to trivago or to Tech careers in general.
Since its foundation in April 2022, the group has been active in international conferences including of course our TechGetTogether and has shared their stories and experiences in different formats. An internal panel to introduce the group and to bring different perspectives on careers in tech also gathered many trivago talents last year. To support the group in its efforts, the group also received public speaking training and meets regularly to exchange views about their ambassadorship and mentorship experiences.
To give you a better idea about what F.A.M.E is all about, what’s best than hearing from our talented colleagues?
Why did you join FAME and can you give some examples of what you have done since you joined and are most proud of?
Aishwarya Nair, Data Scientist“During my undergraduate studies in Computer Science, I often felt unsupported in an academic environment where the male-to-female ratio was heavily skewed. It wasn't until my Master's program that I had the privilege of learning under a female professor who worked as a Data Scientist in the industry that I realized I could make this my career! Ever since then, I have been deeply passionate about mentoring and empowering young women in STEM fields to close the gender gap. Joining the FAME community has allowed me to live out my passion and take on the role of an ambassador by participating in communities such as Women Who Code, Xena, and Girl Code. I have had the opportunity to actively share my knowledge and experience with others in a wider forum. I take great pride in my mentorship of a PhD student in Biomedical Sciences, as we were able to make significant progress and achieve several goals in just 10 sessions.”
Lydia Penkert, UX Research Lead“In my first week at trivago, the idea of the FAME group was presented by our CTO. I immediately knew that I wanted to join this community to connect with other women at trivago and support and learn from each other. Since then, I held talks at remote conferences (UX Australia and at AdWorld) and shared my career path at a Digital Career Fair. I really enjoyed sharing my experience with an audience at the start of their Tech Career and encouraging them to consider the variety of roles that tech offers.”
What have you personally taken out of this experience so far?
Shelly Leal, Data Analyst“From this program, I have learned how much knowledge we have to share with other women, independent of how long we have been in the workforce or our background. It has been an important lever to identify my strengths, and weaknesses and has a clearer perspective of the future of my career. The connection with other expatriates helped me understand that we are certainly more powerful working together than by ourselves.”
Anna Wilhelm, Quality Assurance Engineer“I learned, that I am capable of more than I think. Thanks to the public speaking training we had, I was able to join our Tech Get Together as a speaker! It was my very first public presentation, and I’m very happy with how it went.
Additionally, I’ve learned that we all have something to share. Even though something might seem to us like nothing special, to someone else it can be new and interesting.
Finally, support and exchange is really important. I’m happy I can be a part of it and contribute too!”
This year, to comply with the mission of being mentors, F.A.M.E members as well as other female tech talents at trivago are engaging in the “Chelsea FC Foundation’s Empower program”. This is a ten-week program for young women, during which trivago mentors are sharing their paths and experiences on a bi-weekly basis.
Why is mentoring so important in your eyes? What has been your experience with mentoring so far (as mentor or mentee) and why did you choose to take part into this program?
Jenny Pushenko, Backend Sofware Engineering Lead“Mentoring tends to be perceived unidirectional - mentor teaches, mentee learns, and therefore the importance of mentorship is measured by how much mentee can learn. I feel, however, that being a mentor is a learning opportunity as well: putting your knowledge in words so that the other person can understand the idea, and finding the correct expressions to describe your experience can be cathartic. And this is extremely valuable - not only one participant of the process gets something out of it, both actually learn and develop further, getting better understanding of what they do. This, on top of an opportunity to connect to different people and get a sneak peek at the way they view the IT industry and their work - are the reasons why I love mentoring. I have been doing it for a while now - staring from mentoring for junior specialists in companies where I worked and culminating in participation in several programs organized by of Women In Tech. However, I only had the opportunity to work with adult specialists already having working experience. I was curious to see how it would be for young women - remembering myself in high school I can say for certain that I was not equipped to make the choices I had to make back then. This is a challenge for sure, but I enjoy it a lot.”
Carolina Muradas, Project Manager“I believe that mentorship is a crucial aspect of professional development, providing individuals with guidance, support, and a wealth of knowledge and experience. In the STEM fields, it is especially important due to the rapidly evolving nature of the industries and the need for continuous learning and growth. Additionally, mentorship plays a vital role in promoting diversity and inclusion, a topic specially needed to be covered when we talk about STEM fields. Women and girls are underrepresented in these industries, and having a mentor can provide us with the encouragement and support needed to pursue interests and careers. In conclusion, for me, mentorship is a valuable tool for personal and professional growth. By providing individuals with guidance, support, and access to unique perspectives and opportunities, mentorship has the power to shape the future of the STEM industries and promote diversity and inclusion for all.”
We can only hope to encourage more organizations to support their diverse talents to come on-stage to inspire more people to join the tech industry. We are looking forward to more collaborations in the future. As our CTO says, “The only necessary factors for a career in tech are brains and attitude. With that we must strive to establish a fair share of women in our teams. My aim is for 50% female Techies at trivago within a few years; FAME and its volunteer mentors should be a strong enabler”.