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Career Advice: Cara Anderson – Prioritizing Mental Health at Work

In this week’s installment of our Career Advice video series, Linda Bell, Head of Content at Fair360, spoke with Cara Anderson, Senior Manager of Multicultural Affairs, Global Communications and Public Affairs at Marriott International (a Hall of Fame company). Anderson spoke about the challenges she experienced in navigating her mental health and career growth.

“Mental health is very important. It’s very dear to me. The way I manage my mental health is I practice yoga, meditate and pray. Those are the things that get me through. In regards to career growth, I think it’s important to understand that it’s your personal responsibility. It’s your responsibility to get you to the next level of what you need to do and that may look different for others.”

Anderson also shared the strategies individuals and organizations can use to manage expectations around career progression. One of the strategies is related to inclusive leadership.

“It doesn’t matter your title or your role. That does not determine if you’re a leader,” she said. “If you’re curious, if you’re courageous and if you’re connected – those are the three points that we really focus on when we’re talking about leadership. Leadership is at any level.”

Anderson spoke about one of the tools Marriott offers to support employees.

“We have Mind Matters, which is available to managers,” she said. “It educates them on how you help someone on your team who may be going through a mental health crisis.”


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Hall of Fame

Marriott International

Building upon its Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction platform, Marriott has made progress on its ESG and employee well-being commitments, continuing a tradition of leading the way on Corporate Social Responsibility efforts.

Anthony Capuano
Anthony Capuano

Diversity, equity and inclusion at Marriott International is about energizing leaders to champion our culture every day and ensuring all associates feel they belong and have opportunities to succeed, learn and grow. It’s a business imperative for us and an essential part of our people-first culture. We are honored to have our journey recognized by Fair360, formerly DiversityInc and proud to be a member of the Hall of Fame.

Ty Breland
Ty Breland
EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer

“At Marriott International, we are infusing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion into everything we do. By prioritizing DEI, we’re creating a strong and inclusive culture where every associate has the opportunity to grow and feels empowered to deliver exceptional service to our valued customers, owners, and suppliers.

From the Company

Marriott International’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion has always been a business imperative. We have a holistic approach to DEI, weaving it across every facet of our organization – from our customers and associates to our suppliers and owners. Over the past year, we’ve grown great leaders, invested in associates and provided access to opportunity. Highlights from 2023 include: 

Growing Great Leaders:  

  • At Marriott, we believe in leadership at all levels. To grow great leaders, we launched our Leadership Essentials, Curiosity, Courage and Connection, which define what great leadership looks like at Marriott. We also introduced a new Leadership Framework, which promotes resources and tools to support associates.  
  • In addition, we rolled out Elevate by Marriott International. The first-of-its-kind program has been designed to support non-management associates and early managers to thrive in their careers. With one of the most diverse workforces in the world, the program builds key skills like business acumen, language proficiency and digital literacy. In addition, participants in the program will also have access to a dedicated external coach who can help associates with a range of needs. 

Investing in Associates: 

  • We invested in associates by revisiting our compensation framework, expanding bonuses and introducing new programs such as an employee stock purchase program.  
  • We also reprioritized associate well-being through our TakeCare program, focusing on associate well-being in physical, mental and financial aspects. Efforts included enhancing the TakeCare Champion network, forming an advisory team for diverse input, hosting leadership-sponsored events and redesigning our TakeCare Certification, which recognizes workplaces promoting healthy lifestyles.  

Access to Opportunity: 

  • To expand Access to Opportunity, we rolled out new workforce innovation practices that offer associates greater flexibility and choice. We also added more rigor to our Associate Resource Groups (ARGs). They have been instrumental in providing a sense of belonging and culture that encourages associates to feel heard, respected and included – and provides space that encourages learning, innovation, networking and personal and professional development. 
  • We unveiled our new people brand, Be. Be showcases Marriott as a place where you can begin your career, belong to an amazing global team and become the best version of yourself. By embracing the principles of Be, Marriott can authentically share the unique stories and experiences of associates, amplifying their voices and fostering a culture of inclusivity and belonging. 
  • We marked the 20th Anniversary of the Inclusion and Social Impact Committee. Anchored in our core value of Put People First, Marriott’s culture embodies a welcoming ethos that extends to associates, guests, suppliers and owners alike. Setting a precedent in 2003, Marriott became the first in the industry to establish a Board of Directors-led committee dedicated to advancing inclusive opportunities. This pioneering initiative reflects Marriott’s unwavering commitment to fostering a diverse and equitable environment. 
  • In addition, we celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Women’s Leadership Development Initiative, an innovative program pioneered by our organization within the industry. Since its inception, our primary objectives have remained steadfast: to enhance women representation in leadership and key decision-making positions, harness the exceptional talents of women leaders to propel our enterprise forward and secure active sponsorship to drive women’s progress. Our unwavering dedication has yielded tangible results, nurtured a robust pipeline of aspiring women leaders and fostered an inclusive environment conducive to networking and mentorship, all while championing a harmonious work-life blend.