Marriott gets workforce diversity award

For the second consecutive year, Black Enterprise magazine named Marriott International, Inc. one of the Best Companies for Diversity. A total of 40 companies were identified on this year’s list and Marriott was recognized in two important categories: 10 Best in Workforce Diversity and 10 Best in Board Diversity.

More than 1,000 of America’s largest publicly traded companies and 50 leading global companies competed in the survey. Marriott was one of only two lodging companies to make the list.

To measure a company’s efforts, Black Enterprise focused on four areas for which the company must have demonstrated significant representation of African-Americans and other ethnic minorities.

The areas included corporate procurement, corporate boards, senior management and total workforce.

In addition to conducting an extensive survey, the magazine also looked at marketing diversity, evaluated diversity programs, and consulted with diversity experts and corporate diversity officers.


“This recognition from Black Enterprise demonstrates that Marriott is taking the right steps when it comes to diversity,” said J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer.

“Having diverse representation on our Board gives us a competitive advantage when making business decisions, while holding us accountable for achieving diversity goals in every area of our business, from the workforce to suppliers to hotel ownership.”

The Marriott Board of Directors formed a subcommittee specifically to address diversity issues as they relate to ownership, workforce, markets and customers, and suppliers.

Called the Committee for Excellence, the subcommittee is comprised of six senior executives and four board members, including Debra Lee, chairman and CEO of BET Networks, George Munoz, principal of Munoz Investment Banking Group, LLC, Harry Pearce, Chairman of Nortel Networks, and Bill Shaw, President and Chief Operating Officer of Marriott International.

In 2005, Marriott announced two ambitious Board-driven diversity goals: to increase the number of women and minority owners and franchisees from 250 to 500, and to spend more than $1 billion with diverse suppliers by 2010. With more than 350 diverse owners to date, and with a spend of $347 million with diverse suppliers last year, Marriott is on track to achieve—or even surpass—both goals.

Additionally, Marriott’s longstanding commitment to diversity is evidenced by its highly diverse workforce—60 percent of Marriott associates are minorities and 54 percent are women. Of the new managers hired in 2005, 26 percent were minorities and 48 percent were women. Marriott also recently achieved its highest ever number of minority college recruits—more than 30 percent were minorities and 16 percent were African-American.

“The 40 Best Companies for Diversity truly understand how critically valuable a diverse workforce and inclusive business practices are to the success of their operations,” said Black Enterprise President and CEO Butch Graves.

“These companies are setting the standard for corporate America.”

Marriott has received broad recognition for its diversity initiatives. DiversityInc named Marriott to its Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2006 for the third consecutive year. Additionally, FORTUNE magazine has recognized Marriott as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” for the past nine years.

The complete special report on the best companies for diversity, including methodology and selection criteria, will be available in the July issue of Black Enterprise.