A Holistic Approach to Diversity Management Spurs Business Growth
By Gerald Fernandez, Sr. President & Founder, Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance | October 28, 2008
Inclusive diversity initiatives yield results
Management of diversity initiatives in the hotel and lodging industry must be inclusive and proactive in order to be successful and sustainable. Taking an inclusive approach to diversity management involves looking at the entire company and its stakeholders. Being proactive suggests that an organization seizes opportunity as opposed to reacting to a problem.
For example, the hotel industry was forced to react to the NAACP Hotel Survey when it was initiated in 1997. This widely publicized survey was viewed by many as a challenge to the industry's commitment to African-Americans and other minority groups.
Despite the fact that the lodging industry has long been a good place for Blacks and other minorities to find employment, not enough has been done to help minorities advance to higher levels of leadership. By not having a clear industry wide strategy for leveraging diverse talent and perspectives, the lodging industry is open to scrutiny by minority special interest groups.
Workforce diversity efforts are not enough
All too often companies focus their efforts only on workforce diversity with little or no emphasis on other business strategies where sound diversity practices can yield benefits. Diversity and inclusion as a business strategy needs to involve much more than just the management of employees.