NAACP Finds Room For Improvement in Hotel Diversity and Inclusion Practices

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    The NAACP released the findings from its Opportunities & Diversity Report Card for the hotel and lodging industry and most chains were given average or below average marks.

    Marriott International received an overall B grade – the highest rating out of all the hotels – with the remaining hotels scoring either a C+ or C. Details in the report suggests that corporate leaders in the hotel and resort industry still have far to go to ensure their workforce leadership and suppliers adequately reflect the demographics of the United States. (Read the report here at http://www.naacp.org/blog/entry/opportunity-and-diversity-report-card.)

    “The lodging industry has failed to keep pace with our diverse nation,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “As one of the fastest growing industries in the country, the lodging industry has opportunities for entry level positions, senior management positions, ownership and supplier diversity – a full spectrum of economic opportunity.”

    The report card reveals that procurement with minority businesses is at unacceptably low numbers throughout the hotel and lodging industry. Of the corporations graded in this report, who provided significant property data, only 8% of total dollars spent for goods and services went to companies owned by people of color and a dismal 1% went to African American owned companies. The report also notes that the corporate leaders in the hotel and lodging industry do not collect diversity data for their franchised properties meaning that most leading hotel corporations do not have data on the majority of their properties.

    “With economic inequality at its highest levels in recent decades, it is important that the hotel and lodging industry provide access to jobs with livable wages, long-term career possibilities and contract opportunities for minority owned businesses particularly in African American and other economically disenfranchised communities,” stated Dedrick Muhammad, NAACP Senior Director of Economic Programs.

    The NAACP’s Report Card graded the five largest hotels (Marriott, Wyndam, Hyatt, Starwood and Hilton) against the standard rate of industry inclusion. The letter grades are based on three main criteria: 1) workforce and job advancement, 2) contracting and procurement, and 3) ownership (if and where applicable).

    “The report card should serve as both an eye opener and a tool to encourage the graded corporations to strengthen job creation and wealth building opportunities for disenfranchised minorities,” stated Leonard James, National NAACP Board Member and Chair of the Economic Development Committee. “The NAACP looks forward to collaborating with these corporate leaders and diversity advocates over the next several years to advance industry inclusion, at all levels.”

    In the Hotel and Lodging industry the NAACP is asking for the leading hotel and lodging corporations to require hotel franchisees to report EE01 data, which would capture diversity in the workforce in all hotels.

    Bridging racial economic inequality is fundamental to strengthening America’s economy for the future and the NAACP looks forward to working with corporate, government, labor, and diversity leaders in this effort.

    This report card marks the re-launch of the NAACP’s economic report cards on corporate diversity and inclusion. The focus of the Opportunity and Diversity Report Card is to examine and grade the largest companies on their representation of African Americans and people of color as a whole with respect to workforce, supplier diversity and ownership. In addition to grading corporations on their diversity, the report cards highlight opportunities in the industry and the specific programs designed to strengthen people of color’s full participation in the industry.

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