DALLAS—Virgin Hotels Dallas, the 260-room luxury lifestyle hotel located in the Dallas Design District, announced that it has been honored with the Equity Leadership award presented by D CEO at their annual Nonprofit & Corporate Citizenship award ceremony. The Equity Leadership award is given each year to a corporation in the Dallas community that supports efforts that advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Since the hotel opened in 2019, Virgin Hotels Dallas has supported local organizations that champion diversity and equity such as Cafe Momentum, Unlock Potential, and My Possibilities. Through these initiatives, the hotel has been able to provide mentorship and employment opportunities to justice-involved youth as well as adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“It is an honor for Virgin Hotels Dallas to be recognized as a leader in diversity within the Dallas community,” says Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group. “Creating an inclusive environment where our guests and teammates always feel welcomed to be who they are has always been our priority at Virgin.”
Looking ahead, Virgin Hotels Dallas is dedicated to continuing to evolve their diversity program with new partnerships, teammate training, and more. The Dallas Design District boutique hotel is committed to being Autism Double Checked by the end of 2024. According to the online autism training company, over 20 million people are parents to one or more children with autism. Due to the current landscape and lack of autism-friendly travel experiences, 87 percent of parents of autistic children currently do not travel or take family vacations. However, 93 percent of parents with autistic children said they would travel if autistic-friendly travel experiences were available.
With the certification, teammates at Virgin Hotels Dallas will undergo neurodiversity training and guests with special needs will receive a detailed visitors guide ahead of their stay that highlights potential sensory issues such as crowds, temperature, noise, body awareness and more.
In addition to the property’s Autism Double Checked commitment, Virgin Hotels Dallas will also implement a new policy with Hidden Disabilities that will allow teammates and guests to wear a sunflower lanyard that indicates that they have a non-visible disability and may need more time, assistance, etc.
The brand’s commitment to diversity goes beyond external partnerships. Internally, Virgin Hotels strives to hire individuals that are reflective of the world and encompass a variety of racial backgrounds, genders, etc. In an effort to be the most inclusive employer in the hotel industry, Virgin Hotels launched the J.E.D.I program which stands for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. The idea behind this people-focused approach is to implement new guidelines for community partners, recruitment, and training in a phased approach. Currently, the brand is in its third phase which involves a complete demographic analysis to identify gaps in its workforce. Future phases will include J.E.D.I committees at each hotel, unconscious bias training, and more.
“I am so proud of the team at Virgin Hotels Dallas for leading the charge in diversity within the Dallas community and hospitality industry as a whole,” says James Bermingham, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Hotels Collection. “Their efforts are a testament to the brand’s purpose of ‘everyone leaves feeling better’. We are so thankful to have an amazing team that prioritizes our dedication to being an inclusive and comfortable environment.”
For more information on Virgin Hotels diversity & inclusivity commitment, visit https://virginhotels.com/diversity-and-inclusivity/.