As a global hospitality provider, making people feel welcome is our business. With operations across 110 countries, we view maintaining a diverse and engaged workforce as a strategic priority and competitive advantage. To infuse our culture of inclusion throughout a geographically dispersed workforce of over 38,000 employees across multiple business units, Wyndham Worldwide needed to set the tone from the top down, while driving engagement from the bottom up.
Wyndham established a Global Diversity & Inclusion Council to provide a structure to advance overall diversity and inclusion strategy across different geographic regions, while providing a forum to ensure the inclusion of voices and perspectives of associates around the world.
The Council is led by Wyndham Worldwide Chairman and CEO Stephen Holmes with membership representing a wide range of levels, functions, and geographies. The Council meets both formally at different times in the year, while maintaining ongoing conversations in coordination with the Company’s Diversity and Inclusion team and senior executive and Board leadership.
Through our Diversity Council structure, we are able to keep our collection of brands and businesses on the same page, while enabling grassroots ideas, feedback, and concerns to be elevated quickly. The approach ensures that strategies set globally can be successfully executed locally, making diversity and inclusion of our associates real and measurable.
Further, by maintaining a rotating membership that is reflective of our entire organization, the Council also provides exposure, leadership and development opportunities for associates at many levels to contribute to the business in different ways.
“Our experience has shown that the most successful execution of business strategies occurs when teams at all levels across our various businesses are engaged and encouraged to contribute,” said Holmes. “So we don’t view our Diversity Council as some ‘warm and fuzzy’ social committee, but as an important business function on how we deliver on our mission.”
Under Mr. Holmes’s guidance and with the collaboration of 22 other leaders currently representing 12 functions, four regions, across all of our business units globally, the Council continues to advance the Company’s global diversity strategic goals such as increasing the diversity of its supply chain, while also embracing local initiatives, such as growing and empowering women leaders in technology functions, developing effective military veteran recruitment strategies, and increasing understanding across multiple generations in the workplace.