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78 posts categorized "diversity"


Marriott Earns 100% Perfect Ranking on 2015 Corporate Equality Index

HRC-logoHuman Rights Campaign Names World’s Favorite Travel Company a “Best Place to Work” for LGBT Equality

Bethesda, Md., November 19, 2014- World’s favorite travel company, Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) today was again named among America’s top corporations for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, by earning a perfect 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) 2015 Corporate Equality Index (CEI).

The Index rankings are based on objective factors such as non-discrimination policies inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity, benefits for same-sex spouses and domestic partners, appropriate and respectful advertising, and external community outreach. For a list of all criteria and corporations measured on the CEI benchmark, visit

“As a global hospitality leader, Marriott believes our policies must create the environment where all people come to work fired up to succeed and able to focus on our guests,” said David Rodriguez, Chief Human Resources Officer and Chief Diversity Executive, Marriott International. “Every individual, whether an associate or guest must feel equally welcomed, safe and respected when they enter one of our properties. These are core values that make us very proud of this distinction from the Human Rights Campaign.”

In addition to recognizing Marriott’s superior commitment to inclusive human resource policies, the perfect CEI rating also acknowledges the company’s public commitment to advancing LGBT equality.  This year, Marriott joined with other business leaders to sign amicus briefs urging universal recognition of marriage rights in five federal Circuit courts.  These briefs informed the courts that the cost of inequality is a price businesses cannot justify or afford.  In addition, in early 2014, Marriott played an early public leadership role in opposing anti-LGBT legislation that surfaced in Arizona, successfully urging a gubernatorial veto.

Marriott has consistently been recognized for its outstanding workplace and diversity and inclusion programs.  As a leader in supplier diversity, in 2014 Marriott has been named Corporation of the Year by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.  For a comprehensive list of accomplishments, click Awards and Recognition

Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at, and for the latest company newsvisit  

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Marriott International’s Director Debra Lee in the Awards Circle

Debra Lee - Executive Leadership Council annual galaDebra Lee, member of the Board of Directors of Marriott International and Chairman and CEO of BET Networks was recently honored by the National Black MBA Association with The Chairwoman’s Award and by the Executive Leadership Council with The Achievement Award.  Ms. Lee was recognized by both organizations for her success as a business leader and accomplishments as a corporate board member. 

Ms. Lee has been a Marriott International Director since 2004.  She provides the Board with proven leadership, extensive management and corporate governance experience gained from her CEO role as well as from her membership on the boards of other public companies, her legal experience, and insights gained from her extensive involvement in civic, community and charitable activities. 

Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at, and for the latest company newsvisit

Photo caption:  Ms. Lee, pictured right center in black gown, is surrounded by Marriott International associates at the Executive Leadership Council annual gala.

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Namaste! Marriott Continues Tradition of Diversity and Inclusion Working Closely with the Indian Community

Apoorva-Gandhi-at-the-Network-of-Indian-Professionals-ConferenceBethesda, Md. - Network of Indian Professionals Conference - Marriott International recently sponsored the 2nd Annual Fast Pitch Business Case Competition during the 2014 NetIP (Network of Indian Professionals) Conference. The competition is designed to identify promising entrepreneurs and help them start new ventures or enhance existing ones. Finalists had a few minutes to pitch their idea in front of investors and senior business leaders, including, Mr. Apoorva Gandhi, Vice President of Multicultural Affairs for Marriott International (pictured far right next to winner Keyur Mithawala). Workspace on Demand by Marriott powered by LiquidSpace was also promoted to this group of millennials. 

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Marriott Plans to Nearly Double Diverse-Owned Hotels to 1,000 by 2020

Marriott-Diversity-infographicLodging Leader Focused on Increasing Women Owners.

New York, October 2, 2014 – From its inaugural Women’s Ownership Works or WOW Summit at the Courtyard/Residence Inn Manhattan Central Park, Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) will announce plans to have 1,000 or 25 percent of its existing global hotel portfolio owned by diverse owners, including women, by 2020.  The WOW Summit brings together a small group of current women hotel owners with women exploring hotel development as part of their investment approach.  

"We have always had a culture of inclusiveness and want everyone to be aware of the opportunity to own hotels as an investment strategy that also has community benefit,” said Julius W. Robinson, Marriott International's Vice President for Autograph Collection & Diversity Ownership Champion. 

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Lake Charles Ribbon Cutting

Today, Marriott’s portfolio includes 660 diverse- and women-owned hotels.  There are another 433 in the development pipeline, with 130 of those scheduled to open by year-end 2015.

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Lake Charles[Photo: Ribbon cutting (2011) for the grand opening of the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Lake Charles.  From left to right:  Jack Ezzell,  Alvin Schexnider, William Grace, Tamra Markham (hotel management group), Lake Charles City Councilman John Falgout, Lake  Charles Mayor Randy Roach, Evette Gradney, John Biagas, Mark Biagas, Randy Biagas.

“It is important that we do business with other companies that share similar values,” said Alejandra Martinez, owner of the Courtyard Toluca Airport in Toluca, Mexico.  “Marriott walked with us every step of the way to ensure that we understood the ownership process and continues to help us to be prosperous.”

Marriott launched its Diverse Ownership Initiative in 2005 to increase the number of diverse- and women-owned hotels.  The initiative provides access, education and guidance throughout the hotel development process, beginning with selecting the right brand to opening a hotel.  Marriott invites potential owners to participate in an intense two-day summit for networking and education.   

The company is also actively hosting Diversity Ownership 101 Workshops with partner organizations such as the National Black MBA Association and Odyssey Network for Women.  Marriott is also an active partner with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers. 

“We have a solid portfolio of diverse owners who are extraordinary business partners.  We want more women around the ownership table," said Roz Winegrad, Marriott International's Vice President of Owner Franchise Services.  "We have a strong commitment to the economic empowerment of women around the world.”

The company's select service and extended stay brands - Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites - are fueling its diverse owner segment.  "These brands are perfect for new owners because there is a lower threshold for entry as financing and hotel operations tend to be easier," said Eric Jacobs, Marriott International’s Chief Development Officer for Select Service and Extended Stay.  "We intend for our owner relationships to be successful and profitable so that they continue to partner with us to build hotels throughout our portfolio of brands."

"When I decided to develop hotels, I knew I wanted Marriott hotels in my investment portfolio," said Norman Jenkins, Founder and President of Capstone Development, one of the owners and developers of the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.   

About Marriott’s Diversity & Inclusion Programs
Marriott has a longstanding history of diversity and inclusion.  In 2014, the company celebrates 25 years of its formal diversity and inclusion program and 15 years of its Women’s Leadership Initiative.  Marriott is consistently recognized for championing diversity and inclusion, including: Human Rights Campaign 100 percent equality score,  DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity and for Supplier Diversity, LatinaStyle Top 50, Working Mother Best Places to Work and Top Company as Named by the Executive Leadership Council.  For more information on Marriott’s diversity and inclusion programs, visit

About Marriott International
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,000 properties in 78 countries and territories.  Marriott International reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013.  The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands, including: Marriott Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari, EDITION, Renaissance, Gaylord Hotels, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Moxy Hotels, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Protea Hotels,  Marriott Executive Apartments and Marriott Vacation Club timeshare brand.  Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics.  The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, which together surpass 45 million members.  For more information or reservations, please visit our website at, and for the latest company news, visit

Note on forward looking statements: The statements in this press release about the anticipated number of diverse hotel owners in 2020 are “forward looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws, not historical facts, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including supply and demand changes for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with clients and property owners; the availability of capital to finance hotel growth; and other risk factors identified in Marriott International, Inc.'s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q/A; any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by our statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Marriott International Supports Diversity Partners

Bethesda, Md., August 19, 2014 - Apoorva GandhiMarriott International continues its commitment to diversity and inclusion through its support of three of its diversity partners – National Council of La Raza, National Urban League Young Professionals, and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Líderes Initiative is a national program designed to create opportunities for Latino youth, which will elevate their influence as leaders in the United States. Through a national network of more than 300 high school and college students and young professionals, Líderes identifies, supports, and develops new leadership in the Latino community.  The Summit takes place in conjunction with the NCLR Annual Conference, which was held, this year, at the JW Marriott LA Live. Marriott is a proud supporter of these programs and students.  Apoorva Gandhi, Marriott International’s Vice President of Multicultural Affairs (pictured to the right) spoke at the talent showcase event about Marriott’s commitment to the Latino community and GenY.

Oral MuirMarriott supports the National Urban League Young Professionals (NULYP) organization throughout the year with their summits and professional development programs.  This year, Oral Muir, Vice President of Ecommerce for Marriott International (pictured second from left) participated in a panel on combining non-profit and corporate work.  The NULYPs also celebrated its 15th anniversary and as a congratulations, Marriott provided conference scholarships to 10 young professionals. The organization is a National Urban League volunteer auxiliary that targets young professionals ages 21-40 to empower their communities and change lives through the Urban League Movement.

Maruiel Perkins-Chavis, Vice President, Workforce Effectiveness & Global Diversity gave greetings from Marriott International at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Annual Conference’s Clarence Mitchell Luncheon.  The NAACP lists Marriott at the top of their Opportunities & Diversity Report Card for the Hotel & Resort Industry. The mission of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of all people.

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Marriott is All Inclusive

Lodging Leader Recognized for Diversity Success

Marriott International is in the spotlight for its diversity and inclusion success. 

Norm Jenkins NABHOOD 2014During the recent National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers (NABHOOD) Conference the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC was awarded the “Deal of the Year” Award.  Norman K. Jenkins (pictured, holding award, second from the right, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Capstone Development and a Marriott Marquis Washington, DC owner accepted the award.   Julius Robinson NABHOOD 2014Julius W. Robinson (pictured, holding award, center right) - Vice President,  Franchising and Operations – Fairfield Inn & Suites was recognized with the Hank Thomas Freedom Rider Award.  The Hank Thomas Freedom Award is given to an individual who demonstrates commitment to helping to advance diversity in hotel ownership.  

Darryl Franklin, Vice President and Senior Counsel at Marriott International was named to the Lawyers of Color’s Second Annual Hot List, which recognizes early to mid-career attorneys excelling in the legal profession.  Established in 2008, Lawyers of Color Inc. is the media and research company focusing on lawyers of color and aims to promote the causes and contributions of minority attorneys.

This year, Marriott International is celebrating 25 years of its formal diversity and inclusion program and 15 years of its Women’s Leadership Development Initiative.  Visit for more information on the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts.

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Marriott Resorts in Mexico Say ‘Bienvenido’ to All Guests

OutNowThree Hotels Certified for LGBT Guest Services.

Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico – July 8, 2014 – Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) proudly participated in the 4th International LGBT Business Expo, Vallarta-Nayarit 2014 to Latin America. This three-day event was held at the Marriott CasaMagna Puerto Vallarta to engage leading travel and hospitality companies that are dedicated to welcoming lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender guests, friends and families throughout the Americas.

Mr. Apoorva Gandhi (pictured above first from left), vice president of multi-cultural affairs for Marriott International, was also a speaker at the conference.  “I am excited to be part of this important team working to position Marriott as a global diversity and inclusion leader. Diversity is the one thing that we all have in common and I am proud to show how we at Marriott celebrate it everyday,” he stated.

Mr. Gandhi’s presentation highlighted many of the ways Marriott properties excel in cultural competency, as well as celebrating LGBT individuals, couples and families.

Marriott also received the designation as ‘Out Now’ certified for the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta. OutNow global certification means 100% of the more than 430 employees working in the hotel have been trained to understand and provide the best customer service to their LGBT guests.  JW Marriott Cancun Resort and CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort also received certifications.

OutNow is a lesbian and gay marketing specialist organization.  Out Now's unique expertise, experience and approach to LGBT marketing is acknowledged and supported by marketing professionals - and clients - worldwide.

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Asia Society Honors Marriott International, Inc. with 2014 Best Practice Awards

Tina Edmundson - 2014 Asia Society DLF

New York, June 19, 2014 – Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) announced  that it has been recognized by The Asia Society for its work in the diversity and inclusion space with a number of 2014 Best Practice Awards in the categories of Recruitment and Selection, Market Opportunities and Community Support. Apoorva Gandhi, vice president of multicultural affairs for Marriott International, was on hand to accept the award given during the recent Asia Society Diversity Leadership Forum held in New York City.

Tina Edmundson (pictured above), Marriott International’s global officer for luxury and lifestyle brands, participated in the event as a keynote speaker. Edmundson spoke with young Asian leaders and executives from around the country about the challenges and opportunities involved with building a successful brand in a global context, while also sharing some of her personal experiences as an Asian woman executive.

Asian SocietyAsia Society is the leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context.  [Pictured left, Apoorva N. Gandhi, vice president, Multicultural Affairs Marriott International; David Whitelaw Reid, director of Corporate Relations, Asia Society.] 

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Whoever You Are, Wherever You Go - #LoveTravels

TestMarriott International Celebrates Inclusion with Powerful LGBT Portraits by Noted Photographer Braden Summers. 

Bethesda, Md.,— June 2, 2014— Marriott International today launches #LoveTravels, a multicultural campaign that conveys the company’s commitment to make everyone feel comfortable being who they are, everywhere they travel.  To bring #LoveTravels to life, Marriott has partnered with photographer Braden Summers to share exclusive and powerful images celebrating inclusion as part of its new Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) social media and marketing campaign.  Summers’ unique ability to capture warmth and emotion perfectly communicates the company’s welcoming approach to hospitality.

LoveTravels-Gina-transgender-model-wrap“Braden’s work so beautifully illustrates the inclusiveness and equality that we embrace,” said Kristine Friend, senior director, segment marketing.  “We are committed to ensuring that all of our guests feel comfortable at all of our hotels and are proud to stay with Marriott.  #LoveTravels is a universal theme we believe is shared by all cultures and communities and truly represents our company’s philosophy and values.  We also want to encourage our guests and travelers around the world to share their own journey and story through #LoveTravels @MarriottIntl.” Download images.


LoveTravels-Jason-Collins-wrap#LoveTravels features visually stunning images that will be displayed as building wraps at five hotels in Washington, D.C., a series of print ads in LGBT media, an online portrait gallery and display ads in cities throughout the U.S.  A key element of the campaign includes portraits of Jason Collins, professional basketball player; Geena Rocero, fashion model and social advocate; and Talisha Padgett-Matthews, a Marriott associate. More about their inspiring stories and other images from the campaign can be found at, including behind-the-scenes video.

“To help tell Marriott’s #LoveTravels story, I produced an aesthetic for Jason, Geena and our other models that is relatable, authentic and shows them at ease with who they are and comfortable expressing their love,” said Braden Summers.  “It will also be a first for me to display my work as dramatically as building wraps on five major hotels in the nation’s capital." 

To coincide with the Capital Pride Celebration, the hotel building wraps will be unveiled beginning on June 2nd at Renaissance, Washington DC, Dupont Circle; Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown; Ritz Carlton Washington DC; Residence Inn Washington, DC/Dupont Circle; and JW Marriott Washington, DC.  

Elements of #LoveTravels will be featured on the Marriott LGBT website and at key Gay Pride events in Washington, San Francisco and New York City. Numerous Marriott properties were also used in the photographs, including the Residence Inn Manhattan New York/Central Park; Renaissance New York Hotel 57; The Carlton Hotel, Autograph Collection; The Lexington New York City, Autograph Collection, and the JW Marriott Marquis and Marriott Stanton South Beach in Miami. 
Classically trained in drawing and painting, photographer Braden Summers uses his fine art sensibilities to compose photographs with elements and scenes that visually tell a story. Throughout the process he strives to inject inspiration into his narrative style. Whether shooting celebrities for the Tony Awards, or a lifestyle series of modern couples for the MoMA, his work remains instantly recognizable with his unique styled treatments.

Marriott International’s premiere hotels host galas and events on behalf of LGBT community leaders including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), PFLAG, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, among others. Marriott also serves as a proud sponsor for these nonprofit organizations, as well as other community-based groups. The company remains among leading corporations earning a 100 percent perfect score on the HRC Corporate Equality Index as one of the Best Employers for LGBT People, and for several years, it also has been a supporting member of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, committed to diverse suppliers including LGBT businesses.

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,000 properties, and more than 690,000 rooms in 77 countries and territories and reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013.  For more than 80 years, the company has been committed to guest satisfaction.  Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics.  The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, which together surpass 45 million members.  For more information or reservations, please visit our website at, and for the latest company news, visit  

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DiversityInc Ranks Marriott In Top 20 Companies for Diversity & Inclusion

DiversityInc Top 50 CompaniesCompany Continues to Lead the Hospitality Industry. 

DiversityInc announced Marriott International as #16 during the 2014 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity event making it the highest ranking hotel company on the list.  The company was also ranked #7 for its supplier diversity efforts.

The rankings are determined by an objective methodology that calculates factors such as Talent Pipeline, Equitable Talent Development (including commitments to mentorship and philanthropy), CEO/Leadership Commitment, and Supplier Diversity. The empirical data for the rankings is provided by a 300-question survey filled out by personnel at the participating companies.

“Our business is all about creating great experiences for people and providing opportunities to grow and achieve,” says David Rodriguez, Marriott’s Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources officer.  “As a hospitality company, how we support our associates directly correlates to superior customer service for our guests around the world. That is the foundation of our ‘people-first’ company culture, and it continues to be our guidepost to business success.”

For more information about Marriott’s diversity and inclusion efforts, visit

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