With the world in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, due to the impact of coronavirus (or COVID-19), recognizing change-makers and inspirational forces making a difference to individuals and communities, both global and local, takes on special significance. This year's winners represent five continents and come from Argentina, France, India, Nigeria, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States. From a business leader revolutionizing women's health and lifestyle through smart technology, to a FinTech entrepreneur redefining online security and payments through biometrics, and a software developer empowering African women technologists through training and mentorship, the winners represent the achievements that visionary women are making in technology every day. With a number of impressive nominations for initiatives contributing to solving community, sustainability or societal issues, two winners have been awarded in the Social Impact category this year.
"With nearly 850 nominations received this year, selecting 45 finalists and whittling that down to ten winners and one Technology Playmaker of the Year has certainly been a challenging, but inspiring process for the judging panel. That reflects not only the high quality of entries we've seen, but also the scale of impact and influence that women are having in the global tech industry," said Gillian Tans, Chairwoman at Booking.com. "While we are unable to celebrate the winners in person this year as we had planned in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, at this time of such great global uncertainty, it remains more important than ever to recognize those who are making such lasting and impactful contributions in technology, as well as inspiring each other."
The winners of the Booking.com Technology Playmaker Awards 2020 are:
To select the Booking.com Technology Playmaker of the Year 2020, the judging panel reviewed the individual category winners for one stand-out entrant demonstrating leadership, technological innovation, impact and serving as a role model.
The award has been granted to Singaporian tech visionary and "tireless agent of change" Leanne Robers, co-Founder and co-CEO of She Loves Tech, for her efforts to bridge the gender gap for women in technology. She Loves Tech was founded in 2015 as a global platform to bring together entrepreneurs, companies and investors to create more opportunities for women tech entrepreneurs. Additionally, by hosting the world's largest tech startup competition focused on women-led or women-impact businesses, Leanne is eliminating the misconception that "women don't build good tech startups." Leanne and her team have helped support and scale more than 2,000 women-impact tech startups, and provided mentorship and skills training in more than 20 countries.
"We launched the awards three years ago as a platform for women to be celebrated for the important and far-reaching work they do across the tech industry every day," said Tans. "Today, the under-representation and under-recognition of women in tech remains as prominent as it was then, but I am pleased to see that gender diversity is increasingly becoming a key part of business discourse and the global agenda. At Booking.com, we look beyond just numbers to focus equally on inclusivity and belonging, and ensure that technology is an industry that is open and welcoming to all."
Each winner received a prize of €5,000 within the overall winner received an additional prize of €10,000.
Founded in 1996 in Amsterdam, Booking.com has grown from a small Dutch startup to one of the world's leading digital travel companies. Part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), Booking.com's mission is to make it easier for everyone to experience the world whenever it's safe to do so again. By investing in the technology that helps take the friction out of travel, Booking.com seamlessly connects millions of travelers with memorable experiences, a range of transportation options and incredible places to stay - from homes to hotels and much more. As one of the world's largest travel marketplaces for both established brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes, Booking.com enables properties all over the world to reach a global audience and grow their businesses. Booking.com is available in 44 languages and offers more than 29 million total reported accommodation listings, including more than 6.6 million listings alone of homes, apartments and other unique places to stay. No matter where you want to go or what you want to do, Booking.com makes it easy and backs it all up with 24/7 customer support.