Marriot explores workplace diversity

Marriott International has been awarded a $300,000 diversity research grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Marriott Explores the Impact of Workplace Diversity; $300,000 Research Grant Awarded by National Science Foundation

Marriott is partnering with George Washington University, in Washington, D.C, on a three-year research project to examine the dynamics of employee engagement among diverse work groups and its impact on business performance.

“This unique opportunity places Marriott at the forefront of contemporary research into diversity management and its influence in the workplace,” said Dr. Lynn Offermann, professor, Industrial/Organizational Psychology at George Washington University, and project leader.

“This research will enable us to further explore the ever-changing workforce,” said Dr. David Rodriguez, executive vice president, Lodging Human Resources, Marriott International, and Ph.D., Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

“In turn, we can continue to nurture a more inclusive work environment, develop strategies that will have a positive impact and more importantly, equip our managers and associates with the proper knowledge, training and understanding to do so.”


Sixteen years ago, Marriott instituted a diversity program with a key component focusing on human resources training, development and recruitment. The award-winning program has had many successes—nearly tripling the number of women in executive positions and doubling the number of full-service women general managers in the past six years.

These achievements are reported to a subcommittee of Marriott’s Board of Directors, known as the “Committee for Excellence,” which is focused on achieving the highest levels of diversity in the lodging industry.

The committee is chaired by board member George Munoz, principal of Munoz Investment Banking Group, LLC. Membership includes board members Debra L. Lee, chairman and CEO of Black Entertainment Television (BET) Networks; Harry J. Pearce, chairman of Nortel Networks Corporation; and William J. Shaw, president and chief operating officer of Marriott International; as well as six other senior executives who represent various disciplines throughout the company.

Marriott has been featured in FORTUNE magazine’s “Best Places To Work” list for nine consecutive years and has been recognized by a host of minority and women publications, including Working Mother, Latina Style, DiversityInc and Black Enterprise, for being a great place to work.

For more information on Marriott’s ongoing diversity initiatives, please visit .