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Hotel industry foundation announces $5m. commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

AHLAF unveils 5-year action plan; Key initiatives include new leadership academy, mentorship program, industry resources.

WASHINGTON – The American Hotel & Lodging Foundation (AHLA Foundation) announced a new $5 million, multi-year commitment and action plan to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in the hotel and lodging industry.

The AHLA Foundation’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously at its October meeting to elevate DE&I as a cornerstone platform under the direction of a newly created DE&I Task Force, comprised of senior leaders throughout the industry. Since then, the Task Force has been meeting to develop a five-year road map to unite the industry around a bold, transparent, and actionable commitment to foster DE&I by identifying and introducing programs to remove structural and behavioral barriers.    

“The AHLA Foundation Board of Trustees recognized that we can do more to build on our legacy of opening doors of opportunity to all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity or gender, and we believe that this bold, new five-year plan takes us one step closer to reaching that goal,” said Rosanna Maietta, president and CEO of the AHLA Foundation. “This is a monumental example of an industry coming together to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, even at a time when COVID-19 has wiped out 10 years of job growth in the industry.” 

The DE&I Task Force identified the following guiding principles for the new initiative:

  • Diversifying representation at all levels to better serve our guests, associates, and communities.
  • Elevating inclusive leadership across corporate entities, properties, franchisees, and supplier networks.
  • Driving accountability and transparency to achieve measurable diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DE&I) results.
  • Fostering innovative approaches to scale DE&I within the industry.

“The hotel and lodging industry is rooted in a spirit of hospitality and welcomes guests and employees of all backgrounds,” said Greg Juceam, president & COO of G6 Hospitality and AHLA Foundation Chair of the Board. “Our vision is to build an industry as diverse as the guests we serve, and this new initiative will build on the industry’s long-standing commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion across our all levels in our workforce.”

Over the next five years, the Foundation will focus on three strategic priorities: 1) Driving DE&I at the leadership level, 2) Driving DE&I across all talent levels, and 3) Developing a DE&I blueprint for the industry.

This year, the Foundation will launch a new Leadership Academy focused on increasing representation at the executive level, industry resources with sample policies and procedures to increase representation across all levels of the industry, a new mentorship program, and a national ad campaign to attract diverse talent as the hotel industry recovers from COVID-19 and travel resumes.

In the coming years, the Foundation will build on these initiatives to unveil job resources, executive coaching, and a DE&I knowledge sharing platform.

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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.