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Corporate Responsibility Report

Diversity and equality

Key diversity and equality target 2013 – 2017

  • Track and report supply chain diversity

The geographic and socio-economic diversity of our guests is reflected in our workforce, owners and business partners. We are proud of our rich cultural diversity across the globe and within our local hotel communities. It allows us to strengthen our understanding of and respond to the needs of our guests, and is reflected in our Winning Ways.

We are committed to diversity and inclusion across all aspects of our business. This includes hotel ownership, strategic sourcing relationships, recruitment, community relations, franchising and marketing. To achieve it, we strive to create working environments and establish business relationships where every group fits, feels accepted, has value and contributes.

We recruit and promote individuals solely on their suitability for the job without discriminating on grounds of race, colour, ethnic or national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital status or disability unrelated to the role. In some countries these principles may be modified by national or local legal requirements.

Because it's important to us that employees across the organisation are engaged we make opportunities for development and training programmes, including leadership and management training, accessible throughout IHG. In particular, we offer development programmes for women and succession planning for high-potential candidates.

We also work with organisations across the globe to make thoughtful considerations on behalf of our guests with disabilities. Where existing employees become disabled, we aim to provide continuing employment wherever practicable in the same or an alternative position.

In 2013 we set a target to track and report on diversity in our supply chain. This isn’t a new area for us but it is the first time we’ve set an external target. Building on the supplier diversity programme we have been operating in the Americas region, we will ask our suppliers for information on the diversity of their business. As this is an evolving area our initial target commits us to transparency. Ultimately, we want to use the information to support diverse businesses and help increase diversity in the marketplace and we will continue to report on our progress.

Naturally, we want to provide a welcoming environment to all our guests.

Americas region

Overseeing diversity in the Americas region is the joint responsibility of our Corporate Responsibility and Public Affairs department and our Americas Human Resources Department, both based in Atlanta, USA. These teams are led by Paul Snyder, VP of Corporate Responsibility and Public Affairs and Lori Gaytan, SVP of Americas Human Resources, respectively:

  • We participate in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, a benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT employees. IHG scored a 90 for 2014
  • We have established an employee resource group for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Allied colleagues
  • We operate a supplier diversity programme in partnership with IHG's Global Strategic Resourcing. This supports our commitment to provide suppliers equal access to purchasing opportunities and economic stimulus in local communities in a way that reflects the diversity of our customer base and communities. We also believe that a diverse supplier base encourages innovation
  • For the past five years, we have advertised our positions on targeted online sites to make sure we get a diverse mix of candidates. These include more than 530 colleges and universities, multiple diversity sites such as and, and multiple sites targeted at our military and veterans, such as Save our Veterans. We are a Featured Employer with and on the City of Atlanta Jobs Platform. We have a microsite specifically for veterans – and jobs are available for minorities
  • By introducing supplier diversity goals to increase the amount we spend with certified minority-owned businesses we doubled our spend in the three-year period between 2009 and 2012. Under this arrangement we accept business certified by the following organisations:
  • Our corporate office is committed to diversity and inclusion. The following examples show what our Americas region is doing to increase the level of engagement among certain diverse groups or diversity strands:
    • IHG Hotel Operations Women and Minority Advisory Board focuses on creating meaningful networking opportunities to connect with peers and gain additional exposure to senior leaders, professional development activities that support growth and exposure and community outreach initiatives that support women and minorities
    • IHG's Chief Information Officer, Eric Pearson, sponsors the TECHWOMEN group, an organisation created to attract, retain and advance women in the field of technology. Around 8 to 10 IHG women employees are involved with the group
    • We encourage our female employees to join the Georgia Women in Lodging (GWIL) organisation and to attend its events
    • We joined forces with the Georgia Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves, signing a Statement of Support of the National Guard and Reserve in 2011. This demonstrates our commitment to colleagues who are service members, giving them peace of mind that their jobs will be waiting for them when they come back home
    • Our corporate office hosts a variety of diversity-related events:
      • In April 2011, we hosted a ‘Women in Leadership Tea’ for corporate women leaders and aspiring leaders
      • Senior members of IHG, plus representatives from Pink, an online magazine for women, shared tips on how to make one's life and career more beautiful
    • Our Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) for Minorities and Females is a results-oriented programme designed to ensure employment opportunities for minority and female employees based on good faith efforts
  • We have increased our efforts to reduce incidences of bullying and harassment. Examples include:
    • Updating all of our relevant policies to include gender identity or expression among characteristics that are protected from discrimination
    • The creation of an Americas corporate and hotel Anti-Bullying Policy in 2011
    • Bolstering of the existing corporate and hotel Anti-Harassment Policy to include genetic information and sexual orientation as protected diversity strands.


We are accredited to the UK Government's 'Positive about Disabled People' symbol.

We also have a Disability Advisory Committee to promote IHG's 'disability confident' culture and to try to find ways of working that will attract disabled job applicants. At the end of 2008 we won a Springboard Award for Excellence in the 'Diversity in Employment' category for recruiting people with disabilities.

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