Hilton's CEO: Why Young People Should Get Into Travel & Tourism

"I found my true calling at the age of 18, plunging toilets at a Holiday Inn in Washington, D.C," writes Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO for Hilton.

(A blog on The Huffington Post)


Hilton is No. 42 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list

Christopher J. Nassetta

I found my true calling at the age of 18, plunging toilets at a Holiday Inn in Washington, D.C. That's when I first realized that hospitality is the best industry in the world. And I never looked back.

Stories like mine aren't unusual in our line of work. In fact, half of all hospitality executives got their start in entry-level hotel jobs. That's a pretty remarkable statistic when you think about it.

And I have been thinking about it. A lot. I have six daughters, and my girls are part of the largest youth generation in human history. And this enormous generation is breaking another, more unenviable record – they're facing the worst youth unemployment crisis in history, with an astonishing 71 million young people around the world currently looking for work. Young people today are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults. And too many of our youth across the globe don't have the minimum level of basic skills needed to be gainfully employed.

Hilton is unveiling a new survey – in partnership with the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) – that helps tell a story of how careers in hospitality can help to support changes to the employment landscape for today's youth. Informed by candid responses from 7,600 young people in 30 countries, this survey conveys young people's views of the world and their futures in it.

The results are surprisingly optimistic when set against that backdrop of record unemployment. Seventy-six percent of youth surveyed agreed with the statement "I will be able to get the kind of job I want."

And what kind of jobs do they want? Of the young people we surveyed, nearly half (47%) said that jobs in technology were most appealing to them as they thought about their futures. Only 17% viewed working in the hospitality business as an attractive option.

That is because too many of today's youth think of hotel jobs as dead-end service jobs. That couldn't be further from the truth:

  1. First, we are and always will be a business of people serving people. Technology is an important part of our business, but it will never replace our people. In other words, hospitality is a safe opportunity for a generation of young workers facing the rising risk of job displacement by automation in other industries – industries like the ones where they currently prefer to work.
  2. Second, hospitality provides upward mobility unlike any other industry. Hospitality is the one industry where attitude matters as much as skills, and with the right combination of both, you can move up quickly through the ranks.
  3. Finally, our business doesn't succeed unless our Team Members prosper – so we invest a lot in making Hilton a great place to work. From flexible work schedules, to unmatched training and development opportunities, to competitive pay, to generous benefits like paid time off to start a family or industry-leading travel benefits, our first priority is ensuring that our team knows they are at the heart of who we are and what we do.

So how can we change young people's perceptions about in hospitality? In 2014, we committed to exposing one million young people to careers in hospitality by 2019 through our Open Doors program. Thanks to youth-focused initiatives like our annual Youth in Hospitality celebration and apprenticeship programs, we're already halfway to this goal – and we're gaining momentum.

We are making these investments because we know that we have the potential to make a huge contribution toward solving the global youth unemployment crisis – and because it's critical to our future success. We're part of the fastest growing job sector in the world: travel and tourism is expected to add 86 million new jobs globally by 2026. At Hilton, we aim to use that engine of employment to ensure today's generation of optimistic young people can not only dream about a bright future, but live it. We will all succeed when they do.

​​Hilton Appoints Vera Manoukian as Global Brand Head of Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Manoukian has extensive industry experience and a proven track record of driving results.

REUTERS

Originally Published by Hilton.

Hilton announced the appointment of Vera Manoukian as Senior Vice President and Global Head, Hilton Hotels & Resorts. Manoukian will oversee the brand portfolio for Hilton Hotels & Resorts and will be responsible for promoting, elevating and growing the iconic brand.

Read More Show Less

Hilton Commits to Cutting Environmental Footprint in Half And Doubling Social Impact Investment

New Consumer Research Confirms Environmental and Social Efforts Are Central To Hotel Guest Booking Decisions

REUTERS

Originally Published by Hilton.

Hilton announced it will cut its environmental footprint in half and double its social impact investment by 2030. With this commitment, Hilton will become the first major hotel company to institute science-based targets to reduce carbon emissions and send zero soap to landfill.

Read More Show Less

Hilton Names Global Head Of Diversity & Inclusion

"As a global hospitality company, it's increasingly important to leverage the benefits of an intentional diversity and inclusion management practice to drive sustainable engagement and company performance," said Muñoz.

Hilton has named Jon Muñoz as Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion. In his new role, Muñoz will oversee Hilton's global diversity management practice, focusing on developing culture, talent and marketplace strategies that cultivate inclusion.

Already known as one of the World's Best Workplaces, Hilton was recognized in 2017 for its diversity and inclusion efforts by DiversityInc, Fortune, Forbes, Human Rights Campaign, National Business Inclusion Consortium and LATINA Style.

Muñoz joined Hilton in 2011 as Senior Director, Diversity & Inclusion and has played a key role in driving Hilton's global diversity and inclusion efforts. Prior to joining Hilton, Muñoz served in diversity roles for Sprint and multicultural marketing roles for Nextel Communications, Bank One (JPMorgan Chase) and NationsBank (Bank of America).

"As a global hospitality company, it's increasingly important to leverage the benefits of an intentional diversity and inclusion management practice to drive sustainable engagement and company performance," said Muñoz. "I'm proud of the important strides we've made on our diversity and inclusion journey at Hilton and look forward to building on those successes to support our mission to be the most hospitable company in the world."

"In his seven years at Hilton, Jon has built a track record for success, providing leadership for our comprehensive, and now award-winning, diversity and inclusion program," Matthew W. Schuyler, Chief Human Resources Officer, Hilton. "This role is incredibly important as we continue to create welcoming and inclusive work environments for all, and amazing experiences for our guests."

Muñoz actively serves in leadership roles at a diverse nonprofit organizations including: Conference Board Diversity and Inclusion Center Advisory Board, Friends of the American Latino Museum Treasurer of the Board of Directors, International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, League of United Latin American Citizens Corporate Alliance, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ACT-SO Advisory Council, National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Co-Chair of the Corporate Advisory Council, and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Senior Executive Corporate Advisory Board. He is also a co-founder of the National Hispanic Corporate Council Corporate Executive Development Program (CEDP), offered in partnership with Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business. The CEDP is dedicated to advancing Hispanic managers to executive positions in global enterprises.

Muñoz holds a Bachelor of Science in communications and advertising from the University of Texas at Austin.