Mumbai: Booking.com, one of the world’s largest digital travel e-commerce companies, today announced new scholarship initiatives with two leading universities in India to help bridge the gender divide within the tech sector. Introduced to provide female students with necessary funding to advance their education in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), scholarships will be granted to 12 undergraduate and postgraduate women studying subjects that include computer and information science, engineering, technology and mathematics. The grants will equal €170,000 (INR 1.3cr) across the two university agreements.
In India, Booking.com will support undergraduate students at the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology in Patiala and postgraduate students at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. All the scholarships will start in the 2019-20 academic year. Booking.com first introduced scholarships in 2017 for students at Oxford University in the UK and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and as part of its concentrated efforts towards propelling the women in the technology industry across the globe, the company this year extended this initiative to two new countries – India and the US. In the US, Booking.com scholarships will be awarded to undergraduate students at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, and postgraduate students at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
Commenting on the partnership, Ritu Mehrotra, Country Manager, India, Sri Lanka and Maldives at Booking.com said, ”Technology is one of the key contributors to the country’s socio-economic development. While advances are being made to bridge the social divide and provide equal opportunities to women, there still remains an under-representation of women in the technology sector. The prime objective of this initiative is to provide women with a strong foundation, give them the necessary training, skills development and mentorship at an early stage of their careers to encourage their journey in the technology space. Our partnership with these universities, which combine academic excellence in STEM with strong support for women across this field, demonstrates our ongoing commitment to promote diversity in the industry.”
Dr. Prakash Gopalan, Director of Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology (TIET), Patiala, said, “We are delighted that Booking.com has initiated this unique scholarship for our female undergraduate students. Supporting more young women to study STEM subjects is a key priority at TIET, which has a rich history of encouraging women in engineering. These scholarships will play an important role in furthering this ambition and we look forward to building a lasting, successful partnership with Booking.com.”
Professor. Anurag Kumar, Director, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) welcomed the scholarships by saying: “We are extremely grateful to Booking.com for providing scholarships for female students to pursue master degrees in engineering fields at the Indian Institute of Science. We are keen on increasing the number of female students in the Institute, and we welcome Booking.com’s support in helping us realize this goal. We look forward to a fruitful, long-term partnership with Booking.com.”