The logo of International Women's Day

Celebrating International Women’s Day at freetobook: A Tribute to Progress and Support 

As International Women’s Day approaches, we wanted to take a moment to recognise the women in our team, reflect on our journey so far but also look forward to what lies ahead. Eleanor, our Product Lead, beautifully captured this sentiment with a quote from the much-loved Barbie movie, released last year: “We mothers stand still so our daughters can look back to see how far they’ve come.” Eleanor’s journey, from being a young 16-year-old girl on a male-dominated construction site to her current role surrounded by many strong women at freetobook, is a testament of her resilience and her own empowerment.  

When we caught up with Eleanor, she emphasised the solidarity among the women at freetobook, showcasing the unwavering support they provide one another. From moral support to after-work drinks, encouragement with college courses to lending shoulders for each other to cry on in hard times, the unity among these women as not only colleagues but friends is evident. Eleanor concluded with, “So today on International Women’s Day we send our love and strength to all the women worldwide who fight every day for the most basic of rights and I especially send my love to Kit, Emma S, Sandra, Heather S, Heather P, Angela, Jessica, Gemma, Alison, Rachael, Emma P, Flora, Anya and Jess.” 

Kit, our Head of People, sheds light on the inclusive and supportive work culture at freetobook. Even in the face of challenges such as the dreaded pandemic, freetobook made a conscious decision to ensure every team member knew they were valued, from developers to the customer service team. The introduction of policies addressing menopause, maternity, paternity, and adoption, coupled with ongoing reviews of benefits, reinforces the commitment to support and value everyone and their personal lives throughout their career lives.  

Flexibility is key at freetobook, recognising the importance of employees having a life outside of work. The internship program, led by our exceptional developers, nurtures and encourages the very best of young student minds, ensuring the development of both female and male talent. Freetobook’s dedication to learning and development is evident in individual pathways, one-to-one mentoring, and an open approach to professional growth development opportunities.  

Emma P, one of our brilliant Software Developers, shared with us some of the successes and challenges she’s faced so far in what has for a long time been a male dominated industry. From initiating a machine learning project with the University of Glasgow to addressing real-world challenges in data science, Emma embodies the innovative spirit at freetobook. Her impact on product development, particularly in improving direct bookings through data patterns, highlights her ability to use her skills and talents to keep freetobook at the forefront of technology.  

At freetobook we pride ourselves on our 50:50 gender split across the company (although we recruit based on merit, not to reach quotas), and we are welcoming more female developers in the coming months. The celebration of International Women’s Day is not just a day for us but a reflection of the ongoing commitment to empower, support, and celebrate the diverse and strong voices that contribute to all we do at freetobook.  

Happy International Women’s Day from all of us at freetobook!