“Equal opportunity for people of color in the United States remains an unrealized goal.”
That is the opening statement in a recently released study by NAACP.
The same opening statement appears in the organization’s 2012 report on diversity in the U.S. hotel industry.
The 2019 study titled “Opportunity & Diversity Report Card: The Hotel & Lodging Industry,” not only shows stagnation in racial equality in hospitality workplaces, it reveals African Americans have lost ground over the past decade in their climb to the top in U.S. hotel companies.
The report card examines the efforts of four major hotel corporations to diversify their workforces, from rank-and-file all the way up to the C-suites.
None of the companies – Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corp. and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts – fared well in the study, which was based on research performed in 2017. Grades ranged from Bs to Fs in various categories such as hiring, promotion and supplier diversity.
The research was limited. NAACP surveyed the highest-earning companies and their corporate-owned and managed hotels. Franchised properties were not included. But the NAACP and other minority leaders hope to change that dynamic by pushing for information on the diversity of franchisees, as well as who is working in their branded hotels.
In this episode, we take a closer look at the latest report. We hear from Marvin Owens, senior director of economic development at the NAACP; Andy Ingraham, president and CEO of the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers; and Dyshaun Hines and Skye Curry, graduate students in hospitality administration. We also feature remarks by Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta, who Ingraham interviewed at last week’s NABHOOD summit in Miami, Florida.
Resources and Links
The coronavirus pandemic is forcing the lodging industry to rethink health and wellness. Designers such as Blanche Garcia of B. Garcia Designs see this as an opportunity for hotels to revise their messaging beyond clean and safe by introducing wellness products and programs they can market and attract guests who want to feel good during their stay and return home feeling better than when they left. Those who promote healthy buildings as well as safe travel are exploring how implementing elements of wellness can be a cure for hotel businesses struggling to survive the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn. This report is part of Long Live Lodging’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hotel industry.
She Has a Deal, a program that promotes women as hotel owners, last month minted several new investors through its inaugural pitch competition. Long Live Lodging examines what it took for the three women who comprise the team called Datcher to win the top prize of $50,000 in equity in a fund that would include their $27.4 million project proposed for downtown Detroit. Two additional projects proposed during the competition were selected to benefit from She Has a Deal’s first investment fund. Datcher’s winning formula as well as the other project proposals can be emulated as hotel developers and investors search for ways to fund upcoming projects that reduce investors’ risk while delivering a healthy return as the lodging industry navigates its way through the business downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.