Marriott International has pledged it will spend US$500 million with female-owned businesses in 2019.
A range of companies in Asia and the US will be supported by the global hotel franchise.
Chinese businesses that supply Marriott hotels with slippers, coffee and banquet furniture, Indian companies that provide fragrances, cold pressed juices and linen and US-owned enterprises responsible for seafood supplies, guestroom and lobby artwork and tortillas will be some of the female-lead businesses backed by the hospitality chain.
An additional US$100 million is set to be spent across the next three years with global women-owned businesses. US$50 million will be dedicated to developing countries including Belize, Rwanda and Cambodia.
If the mammoth goal is achieved, it will almost double the annual spend in 2015.
“We are incredibly proud to reach our goal of spending US$500 million with women-owned businesses and to accomplish it one year earlier than we initially projected,” Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson says. “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.”
The company is also hoping to meet its broader goal of US$1 billion spent on diverse-owned businesses, which includes brands owned by minorities, veterans, people living with disability and people in the LGBTIQ+ community – by 2020.
And it’s not just Marriott International aiming to support women in business.
Currently, women hold 53% of senior director and above positions in the company’s global workforce, according to Ralph Lauren’s 2019 ‘Global Citizenship and Sustainability’ report. Females represent 64% of global employees, up 2% on FY17.
To meet the goals, Ralph Lauren will put forward at least one qualified candidate for every job opportunity.