Kickstarting the month that celebrates International Women’s Day, Airbnb hosted a panel discussion featuring actor & author Soha Ali Khan, Singer & Songwriter Lisa Mishra, Entrepreneur Kirti Poonia (Co-founder, Relove)and Airbnb Host Kakoli. The panelists shared their thoughts on ‘Embrace Equity’, which is this year’s theme for International Women’s Day.
Women power Airbnb’s community of Hosts in India and globally. More than half of the global Airbnb Host community comprises of women*. Many such Hosts are pillars to their local communities – employing other women, including some in marginalized communities, catalyzing economic activity and contributing to regrowth. Airbnb women Hosts in India cumulatively earned over INR 1 billion in 2022**, according to Airbnb’s internal data. In addition to this, women Hosts over 60 years of age on Airbnb have earned more than INR 200 million in India in 2022, and for many of them, hosting provides essential income that aids in their retirement.
Airbnb promotes connection and belonging and we remain committed to celebrating our diverse community of Hosts and creating an inclusive environment that helps foster their growth and success. Many Airbnb Hosts are pillars of their local communities, and are supporting microentrepreneurs to drive gender equality, especially in marginalized communities.
Highlighting the importance of women becoming Hosts on the Airbnb platform, Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager – Airbnb India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan said, “At Airbnb, we are deeply committed to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion within our host and guest communities. We recognize the unique value that women Hosts bring to our platform, adding a diverse perspective and energy that enhances the overall Airbnb experience for our guests. We strongly believe that women entrepreneurs are crucial drivers of economic growth, job creation, and social transformation. To support women Hosts, we work closely with communities of women around the world, helping them to unlock the potential of their homes and providing them with the necessary resources and knowledge to succeed as entrepreneurs. We are committed to fostering an environment of respect and inclusivity for all, and we are continuously working to strengthen our efforts to create a more diverse and equitable Host community.”
Airbnb data also revealed that Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Delhi and West Bengal are the top 5 states with the largest number of women Hosts in the country***.
Talking about her hosting journey, Host Kakoli who has been hosting in Delhi NCR and Pondicherry since 2013 said, “I started my journey as a Host on Airbnb when I ventured into the world of hospitality knowing nothing about the intricacies of running a business. Airbnb was a platform which made it easy for me to start and I have grown to list about 24 listings on the platform since then. I’ve had the pleasure of hosting guests from across the world and have also had the opportunity to hire more staff that helps me maintain and provide the ‘Superhost’ experience that my guests enjoy. Airbnb has enabled me, and many more such women, to gain financial independence over the years, and establish a successful entrepreneurial venture.”
Soha Ali Khan, Actor and Author, said, “I feel ecstatic to see a shift in the needle with regards to women empowerment, especially in India but still feel that we have a long way to go. The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day resonates with me, as I am a firm believer and propagator of gender equity. I applaud Airbnb’s efforts in helping women in the hospitality industry embrace equity and take on roles that truly make them happy, whilst working towards an independent future.”
Lisa Mishra, Singer & Songwriter, said, “Travel has always been a passion of mine, and as an artist, I believe it’s the best way to seek inspiration. Through my travels with Airbnb, I have had the opportunity to visit some truly striking destinations, each one leaving a unique impression on me. But what really warms my heart is the chance to interact with some wonderful women along the way – some that are avid travelers like me, and others are building a new life by hosting on Airbnb and are embarking on their entrepreneurial journey. It’s inspiring to see women embracing equity and carving out a path to their independence.”
Kirti Poonia, Co-founder, Relove, said, “I’ve been fortunate to witness the inspiring entrepreneurial spirit of women through my journey transitioning from a traditional management career to one in entrepreneurship and fashion. I have come across a lot of strong women who not only focus on their own growth but also nurture the growth of those around them. As an avid Airbnb user, I have witnessed this same entrepreneurial spirit amongst several women who have had the chance to become Airbnb Hosts and are empowering the community around them. I am extremely happy to be here celebrating the stories of such remarkable women who continue to embody women empowerment.”
*Based on Airbnb internal data measuring percentage of women Hosts (Hosts who self reported themselves as women), as of 31 Dec 2022
** Based on Airbnb internal data measuring Hosts earnings in India in 2022 (between 1 Jan 2022 – 31 Dec 2022)
***Based on Airbnb internal data of women Hosts (Hosts who self reported themselves as women) in India as of 31 Dec 2022