I am grateful to work at a company that has been an advocate and ally for the LGBTQ+ community for nearly two decades. At Marriott International, diversity, equity and inclusion are not just buzz words and Pride is not just a once-a-year initiative. At Marriott International, diversity, equity and inclusion are woven into the fabric of the company’s rich culture. We understand that an inclusive workplace is critical to ensuring our associates’ wellbeing and motivation. It is a key driver for our success.
The celebration of Pride was inspired by spontaneous events on June 28, 1969, when patrons of Manhattan’s Stonewall Inn stood up as this popular gay bar was raided. The Stonewall Uprising, as it came to be called, became a catalyst that accelerated the LGBTQ+ movement out of the closet and to the forefront of human rights advocacy, respect and awareness.
Over time, annual Stonewall commemorations throughout the U.S. grew into international Pride gatherings. Today, Pride Month signifies an international celebration of diversity, often but not exclusively held in June, that celebrates equality, justice and acceptance for LGBTQ+ communities around the world.
At Marriott, we are proud that our company has long led the way to honoring and advocating for a diverse and inclusive workplace and community. We know that doing so strengthens our company’s culture and provides a competitive advantage. Here are just a few ways Marriott’s commitment has come to life:
- For over a decade, Marriott has earned and sustained a perfect 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI). This benchmark recognizes our longstanding support of policies for LGBTQ+ associates including health insurance benefits for transgender care and gender affirmation care.
- Our LGBTQ+ Associate Network, ONE, is a vibrant, global community of associates and allies who actively foster an open workplace of diversity and authenticity.
- In January 2018, Marriott International became the first global hospitality company to endorse the historic United Nations LGBTI Standards of Conduct for Business, aimed to tackle discrimination globally against Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans and Intersex People.
Marriott has been a consistent champion for LGBTQ+ equality and fairness in US policy as well as in US courts. Our philanthropic ties also serve hard-working LGBTQ+ human rights causes aiding homeless transgender youth, LGBTQ+ asylum seekers, and other at-risk LGBTQ+ communities.
In the Caribbean and Latin America, we are proud to stand with our LGBTQ+ community and celebrate Pride from border to border. This year, many of our properties will showcase their dedication with celebratory videos to form the Longest Virtual Pride Parade from Mexico to South America. These videos will be viewable on a specially created landing page updated throughout June.
In addition, many properties are working with local artists to create Colorshoots or murals as colorful backdrops for Instagram.
Others will display the colors of the rainbow on their facades, which has become a meaningful tradition, reminding all of us that there is no room for inequality.
Toward the end of June, I look forward to hosting a virtual round table talk with special guests Apoorva Gandhi, Vice President for Multi-Cultural Affairs at Marriott International and LoAnn Halden, Vice President of Communications at IGLTA. Our roundtable aims to inspire a spirited, informal discussion about the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in our hospitality mission.
Our strong worldwide culture of inclusion fosters our belief that love is a universal language. When love travels, it has the power to bridge cultures and inspire discovery, connecting people, places, and purposes around the world. This is why Marriott International will always seek to make every traveler feel welcome and comfortable being whoever they are, whomever they love anywhere they go.
Join us in celebrating Pride!