WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Hotel and Lodging Foundation (AHLA Foundation) today 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 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.
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.