The following article originally appeared in the January 2019 issue of LODGING Magazine.
This month, as we celebrate what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s. 90th birthday, we can’t help but recognize the long-lasting impact of a bold vision and a plan that embraces diversity and inclusion.
At the core of Dr. King’s strategy was the element of collaboration across all industries, cultures, and value systems. Early in his career, he formed an important partnership with the city, people, and businesses of Philadelphia, because he saw Philadelphia the same way we do—as a diverse and innovative community eager to solve some of our culture’s greatest challenges.
There is strong evidence that a great deal of the success of the businesses and organizations in Philadelphia is attributed to an intentional agenda of diversity and inclusion. McKinsey & Company’s Delivering Through Diversity 2018 report states that companies that have higher-than-average gender diversity and employee engagement on executive teams are 21 percent more likely to outperform on profitability and 27 percent more likely to have superior value creation. In our own organizations, we have seen tremendous growth in innovation, employee and customer engagement, and financial productivity due to our diversity-focused efforts.
Indeed, there is still much work to be done on this front, which is why we have joined forces to be the point at which diversity and inclusion intersect with academic and corporate strategies. Our goal is to provide a learning forum to discuss strategies that can influence corporate social responsibility and broaden cross-cultural understanding, producing critical and continuous dialogue and exchange of information for effective tactics.
Companies that have higher-than-average gender diversity and employee engagement on executive teams are 21 percent more likely to outperform on profitability and 27 percent more likely to have superior value creation.
On March 25th and 26th, we will produce the 2019 Diversity & Inclusion Conference, a hospitality industry and education summit dedicated to the exchange of insights and concepts about diversity and inclusion best practices. The 2019 Diversity & Inclusion Conference is designed for CEOs, corporate leaders, chief diversity officers, and government officials. Additionally, it will serve as a resource for hospitality and tourism executives, organizations, administrators, and academics seeking new innovative, forward-thinking diversity, equity, and inclusion approaches.
Our vision of activating new partnerships is a testament to our pledge of innovating our industry and our community. As we take time to celebrate Dr. King’s life, we invite you to join us on our journey and explore the impact that a collaborative and comprehensive diversity and inclusion strategy can have on your organization and our industry.
Julie Coker-Graham is president & CEO of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau. Jeremy Jordan is an associate dean & associate professor at Temple University’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management. Ed McNeill is president of LODGING Media.
To learn more, visit diphilly.com.