Report says US hotel companies can do more for minorities

The largest U.S. hotel companies should increase efforts to include more ethnic diversity and inclusion in among management, property owners, and suppliers, according to a new study from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

The NAACP study examined Hilton Worldwide, McLean, Virginia, Hyatt Hotels Corp., Chicago, Marriott International, Bethesda, Maryland, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Stamford, Connecticut, and Wyndham Hotel Group, Parsippany, New Jersey.

A standard rate of inclusion was used to measure diversity. Hotels were assigned grades in hiring and job advancement; contracting and procurement; and ownership.

None of the hotels received an A grade. Marriott International received a B grade — the highest grade out of all the hotels evaluated — for above average performance in diversity and inclusion. Diversity and inclusion remains low specifically at the management, property ownership, and supplier diversity levels. Considerable gains must be made to better reflect the demographics of the United States, where communities of color make up one-third of the current population.

The report recommends improving access to programs, opportunities and career paths in the hotel industry for people of color. Several organizations, like the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, are already advancing some of these initiatives and we look forward to charting the industry progress over the next several years.

Hotel and lodging industry leaders must recognize the current racial divide in their industry and commit themselves to advancing diversity and inclusion in hiring, promotion and supplier practices. As one of the fastest growing industries in the country, the hotel and lodging industry can assist in bridging racial economic inequality. The NAACP looks forward to working collaboratively and lifting opportunities in this industry to meet the growing economic challenges and needs of this country’s every growing and diverse population.

Download a PDF of the full report here