5 ways Amadeus is empowering women to succeed in the tech industry

Sabine Hansen Peck

Senior VP, Human Resources, Communications & Branding, Amadeus IT Group

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On March 8th, International Women’s Day, you might have read a very insightful guest blog post from Allyson Zimmerman of Catalyst Europe AG, discussing some of the ways tech companies can attract and retain female employees. Allyson outlined five steps companies can take to become employers of choice for women.

Amadeus employees

Amadeus has recently partnered with Catalyst to help us better understand and address some of the challenges women face in the tech industry. I found these five steps very helpful and wanted to take this opportunity to talk about where Amadeus is on this journey:

Level the playing field / Closing the salary gap

Fair pay and equal remuneration for equal performance is key. To ensure that no gender bias influences the annual compensation review, we examine companywide statistics to ensure that women’s salaries are not only in line with their expertise, but also on par with their male counterparts.

At our Madrid and Nice sites, we not only analyse parameters for compensation and promotions, we also publish them internally. Transparency is a prerequisite for a level playing field, and we are giving this issue our utmost priority as we continue to strive to reach equilibrium.

Organisational culture

Amadeus is fortunate to have many different cultures working at our company and this opens people’s minds to different perspective and views. However, we do know that gender diversity is different from cultural diversity and I am pleased to see women’s networksare thriving, with 500 members across 18 Amadeus sites. These networks have thus far been a fantastic success in bring together female leaders from around the organisation to discuss ways to overcome many challenges.

Leveraging male champions / mentors

Male and female role models and champions are important. We’ve initiated mentorship programs and we continue to develop and mentor women at all levels through a number of activities. We actively encourage women to participate in our leadership programs to ensure proportional participation. We offer personalised coaching programs for women and encourage our male leaders to mentor their female colleagues.

Furthermore, we have introduced the Associate Director position, an important step for women and men alike, to acknowledge Amadeus executives with important leadership responsibilities. We have great women in this group and they are important champions and role models for other levels within the organization.

Associate Directors are active members of our leadership and they are kept up to date on our corporate strategic initiatives through quarterly leadership calls as well as our annual leadership conference.

Clear performance standards

I firmly believe that both men and women can do anything, and as an organisation, we have to do our utmost to overcome constraints and combat conscious and unconscious bias.

We have introduced the Amadeus leadership competency framework which describes what skills are required at each level. They are now an integral part of our internal processes and are being used by managers for recruitment, promotions and assessments.

The competency framework is available on the Amadeus intranet and is therefore accessible to all employees. Being transparent about performance standards and criteria is key to both female and male employees as this provides objective criteria of what is required for a position at each level.

Furthermore, when we recruit for senior positions, my mandate to executive search firms is to always have female and male candidates on the short-list.

Work environment

We are proud to offer an environment where flexibility and trust are at the heart of our strategy. Our teleworking, part-time and flexible hours programs are amongst the most developed in many countries and are highly valued by our employees. We are pleased that both men and women at Amadeus benefit from these initiatives.

So, have these initiatives yielded results? When I started looking at gender diversity, we had only 12 women in leadership positions. Now, a little over 3 years later, we have 68 women in leadership positions: 30 female Directors and 38 female Associate Directors. If we compare ourselves with other technology companies, we do have a higher overall percentage of women in leadership positions.

We still have work to do, but what is really important is that we have the desire and the willingness to do it.

Our employees, male and female, are what make Amadeus successful and unique. When it comes to our female employees, they stand at the top of our organisation at the very same level as any other group. In today’s complex business environment, diversity and inclusion are the new competitive drivers for corporations. The reality is that today’s problems can’t be solved by one group of people alone because the problems are far too multifaceted. Our objective is to ensure that all our employees, including women, bring their different perspectives and unique experiences to the table so that we, as a company, continue to thrive, ensuring that our employees contribute to their fullest.

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