NAACP Releases Opportunity and Diversity Report Card: Hotel & Resort Industry

 

  The NAACP released the “Opportunity and Diversity Report Card: Hotel and Lodging Industry” at a press conference in Atlanta, GA. Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP President and CEO; Dedrick Muhammad, Sr. Director of the NAACP Economic Program; Richard Lee Snow, National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners Chairman along with other NAACP and National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners leadership were all in attendance.

Mr. Jealous spoke about how the Opportunity and Diversity Report Card highlights a civil rights issue that connects us all – economic justice. “The lodging industry has failed to keep pace with our diverse nation,” stated Jealous.   “As one of the fastest growing industries in the country, the lodging industry has opportunities for entry level positions, senior management positions, ownership and supplier diversity – a full spectrum of economic opportunity.”

Richard Lee Snow, of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners, echoed President Jealous comments and fully endorsed the report stating that he will encourage meeting planners to use diversity data as a criteria when deciding which hotels to host their events.

Dedrick Muhammad, Senior Director of the NAACP Economic Department, who gave an overview of the report, highlighted that minority communities are underrepresented in upper management positions yet overrepresented in low wage, unskilled jobs. “With economic inequality at its highest levels in recent decades, it is important that the hotel and lodging industry provide access to jobs with livable wages, long-term career possibilities and contract opportunities for minority owned businesses particularly in African American and other economically disenfranchised communities,” stated Muhammad.

In the report, the NAACP examined the top five hoteliers in the nation. Marriott, Wyndam, Hyatt, Starwood, and Hilton which were graded based on three main criteria: 1) workforce and job advancement, 2) contracting and procurement, 3) ownership (if applicable). Marriott received the highest rating with an overall grade of B. The remaining hotels either scored an average rating of a C+ or C. 

Of the corporations graded in this report, who provided significant property data, only 8% of total dollars spent for goods and services went to companies owned by people of color and a dismal 1% went to African American owned companies.  The report also notes that the corporate leaders in the hotel and lodging industry do not collect diversity data for their franchised properties meaning that most leading hotel corporations do not have data on the majority of their properties.

The release of the Opportunity and Diversity Report Card signifies the NAACP’s re-entry into the work of advocacy for greater corporate diversity and inclusion.  As one of the fastest growing industries in the country with nearly 4.5 million people comprising its workforce as of 2010, the industry anticipates an 8% increase over the next 10 years. Therefore we must ensure opportunities in the industry are available for all to strengthen people of color’s access and full participation.

Read the report here.