Originally published on news.marriott.com.
There’s an important and long overdue conversation happening across the United States on racism. While we have commented on how we think the memory of George Floyd should be honored, we want to share more information about what we believe, what we have done within our company, and, most importantly, what we will be doing going forward.
Marriott International Believes Black Lives Matter.
We believe that the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and countless others matter and were lost to a society where pervasive racism exists. We believe that racism should be eradicated.
We believe in equality, justice and putting people first no matter what they look like, where they come from, what their abilities are or who they love.
We believe each person deserves to be recognized for who they are and respected for both our common humanity and the distinct qualities that make us unique. It is from those unique qualities that we draw strength as a company and as a society.
What we’ve done at Marriott.
For more than 93 years, we have had a long-standing and recognized commitment to putting people first and ensuring inclusive opportunity for all. Marriott was one of the first companies two decades ago to establish a board of directors committee focused on advancing inclusive opportunity. We’re proud of the fact that fifty percent of the company’s board of directors and senior management are either diverse or women.
Our approach to diversity and inclusion is focused on accountability and achieving results. We currently have more than 1,400 hotels owned by diverse or women owners, with a goal of 1,500 this year. We also recognize the importance of cultivating a supply chain that includes diverse or women owned businesses. In 2019, we spent over $900 million with diverse or women owned suppliers. We are proud to showcase our commitment to diversity, inclusion and social good through our #LoveTravels purpose driven marketing campaign which aims to advance people pursuing inclusion, equality, peace and human rights.
We are grateful for the acknowledgment by DiversityInc., which placed us number one on the list of the Top 50 Companies for Diversity and Inclusion for 2020. The recognition is gratifying, but we know there is more to accomplish, and we are committed to doing our part to contribute to a society where everyone experiences equality, justice and inclusion.
We have created a culture of inclusive opportunity, and nurture it through our award-winning cultural engagement program, “TakeCare,” based on the universal human need for opportunity, community and purpose. We hold each other accountable for preserving this important cultural legacy from our founders and engage in cultural competence and other training programs to sustain it.
We know there is more to be done.
Our founder, J.W. Marriott, Sr. believed “success is never final.” We couldn’t agree more – especially when it comes to our focus on diversity and inclusion at Marriott and in the community. While we have championed equality, we know we can do more. Here are some of the steps we’ll be taking:
- The Conversation Starts With Us: We will be hosting a series of town halls to make sure we continue to listen to our associates and use their perspectives to map our plans and actions. During these “TakeCare Community Talks,” we will focus on the fight against racism, the advancement of equality and justice in society, and the role of Marriott in that effort.
- On-ramps to Leadership: Marriott’s Emerging Leader Program was created to increase the number of women and people of color in leadership roles. Moving forward, we’ll be expanding this program to bring an even sharper focus to the career development needs of our Black associates while creating exciting new pathways for the next generation to begin their careers with us.
- Working With the Experts: We are engaged with our partners in the Black community, organizations we have been working with for decades – like the NAACP and National Urban League and others, providing financial support to help them pursue the mission of equality and social justice, while also relying on them for advice as we continue to drive progress within Marriott. We are also working to provide an opportunity for our Marriott Bonvoy members to donate loyalty program points to organizations focused on advancing racial equality and social justice – points that we will match and then convert to monetary donations for these important organizations.
- Using our Voice: We’re listening to community partners and in dialogue with policymakers to advance solutions that address barriers to equality and opportunity.
We recognize that to eradicate racism, it is going to take all of us – corporations, social justice organizations, government agencies and citizens – working together, each driving our part of this effort.
We don’t have all the answers, but we are committed to making more progress within Marriott and the community. We pride ourselves on serving others. And to do that now, we must push for real change.
J.W. Marriott, Jr.
Executive Chairman & Chairman of the Board
President & Chief Executive Officer
Global Chief Human Resources Officer & Global Chief Diversity Officer