Marriott Invests $500 Million in Women-Owned Businesses

Arne Sorenson with Pam Prince Eason at WBENC
Arne Sorenson with Pam Prince Eason at WBENC

The global hotel company advances their goal to spend $1 billion with diverse-owned businesses by 2020

Marriott International has confirmed it will reach its goal of investing $500 million in 2019 with women-owned businesses for goods and services, four years after it pledge to reach this milestone by 2020. The figure is nearly double what Marriott spent annually with women-owned businesses at that time.

Arne Sorenson, president and chief executive officer of Marriott International, says the company is “incredibly proud” of reaching the goal, as it continues its commitment to diversity: “A diversified supply chain is important to us as a company because it reflects our culture of empowering people through opportunity. But these women-owned businesses aren’t just supporting Marriott. They are contributing to the overall economy by creating jobs, renting commercial space, innovating new product lines and serving as business and civic leaders. Their success is a win for everyone.”

Today, Marriott supports women-owned businesses across the world – including businesses in China, that supply its hotels with slippers, coffee and banqueting furniture; India, that provide fragrances, cold press juices and linens; and the U.S., that provide responsible seafood,  artwork for guest rooms and lobbies, and tortillas.

In addition to the $500 million investment, Marriott also publicly pledged this year to spend an additional $100 million above current spending levels over the next three years with women-owned businesses worldwide – with half of this going towards businesses in developing countries such as Belize, Rwanda and Cambodia.

Sorenson spoke about the company’s supply chain efforts at the recent National Conference & Business Fair (WBENC), the largest conference of its kind for women business owners in the U.S. The event was attended by more than 5,000 Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs), and senior executives and procurement representatives from the Fortune 500 and the U.S. Government. Furthermore, representatives from Marriott’s hotel development team are meeting with female entrepreneurs who are interested in expanding beyond supplying goods and services to Marriott hotels to owning or developing one.

This Marriott milestone puts the company on the right track to meet its broader goal in 2020 of spending $1 billion with diverse-owned businesses – including those owned by minorities, veterans, persons with disabilities and people in the LGBTQ community.

“Diversifying our global supply chain with people who represent a variety of communities and backgrounds is not only gratifying – it makes tremendous business sense,” said Ray Bennett, chief global officer of global operations at Marriott International. “Tapping a greater range of entrepreneurs spurs innovation, competition and ultimately business success.”

The company’s growing support of women-owned businesses worldwide is one of the goals set forth in Marriott’s sustainability and social impact platform, Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction.

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