Today we had the pleasure of chatting with Malek Nejjai the Chief Diversity Officer for Amadeus IT Group. Amadeus is a technology company dedicated to the global travel industry. They are present in 195 countries and employ over 12,200 people worldwide. Ms. Nejjai shared valuable insight about her role and her organization, which she described as a “defacto diverse company.” Here are some of the highlights from what we discussed:
1. Amadeus is a “defacto diverse company” because they were founded by 4 airlines from different European countries (Iberia, Air France, Lufthansa, and SAS) and therefore, their corporate culture is influenced by all the cultures from these countries.
2. In the IT sector they have experienced an exodus of female tech talent. She thinks one of the reasons is because men don’t make it easy for women to work in this sector. She gave guys in the room great advice: “Consider what would you do if this were your sisters or daughters that encountered this issue?”
3. Did you know? In the US, women make 77 cents of every dollar. This means women have to work 77 days more than men per year to make up for it. And in fact, we are only expected to reach parity until 2095!
4. For her, as the CDO, she always strives to make sure people feel comfortable because diversity impacts a company’s financials, innovation, creativity and it breaks the status quo.
5. Diversity is a shared responsibility of people, society and companies and while Amadeus is not always publicly advertising their diversity initiatives, it is certainly a priority and at the core of everything they do.