BETHESDA, MD.—Underscoring its commitment to supplier diversity, Marriott International, Inc. announced that, for the first time in its history, it expects to spend $500 million in 2019 with women-owned businesses for goods and services. The figure—which includes spending at Marriott International’s managed hotels and at corporate—represents a near doubling of Marriott’s annual spend with women-owned businesses compared to four years ago. In 2015, the company pledged to reach this milestone by 2020.
“We are incredibly proud to reach our goal of spending $500 million with women-owned businesses and to accomplish it one year earlier than we initially projected,” said Arne Sorenson, President and CEO of Marriott International. “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.”
Marriott supports women-owned businesses across the world—including businesses in China that supply its hotels with slippers, coffee and banqueting furniture; businesses in India that provide fragrances, cold press juices and linens, and businesses in the United State that provide responsible seafood, artwork for guestrooms and lobbies, and tortillas.
Additionally, Marriott earlier this year publicly pledged to spend an additional $100 million over and above current spending levels over the next three years with women-owned businesses worldwide—with half to be spent with businesses in developing countries such as Belize, Rwanda and Cambodia.
National Conference & Business Fair
Sorenson spoke about the company’s supply chain efforts while appearing at the National Conference & Business Fair (WBENC), the largest conference of its kind for women business owners in the United States, in a fireside chat with Pam Prince Eason, President and CEO of WBENC. 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. Also, representatives from Marriott’s hotel development team met with female entrepreneurs who are interested in expanding beyond supplying goods and services to Marriott hotels to owning or developing one.
Marriott’s forecasted milestone well positions the company 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.