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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
At IHG, we want to open doors, break down barriers and create meaningful difference so you feel proud to belong here.
Why are we committed to DE&I at IHG?
At IHG, we want to open doors, break down barriers and create meaningful difference so you feel proud to belong here. We are committed to increasing the diversity of our leadership and talent and putting the right decision-making processes around actions, so all colleagues feel included, valued and respected.
We’ve had an active DE&I agenda for many years, to read all about it check out our recent DE&I Progress Report reflecting on, where we’re at, where we’re going and how we’re getting there when it comes to creating an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive at IHG.
Employee Resource Groups
IHG’s ERGs work together to share resources, amplify intersectional moments, and have a unified plan to foster an inclusive culture across the business. Our ERG Leads are supported by senior executive sponsors and business partners and are provided with leadership development to continue to lead and represent their members, provide safe-spaces and be a voice to their respective communities in the workplace. With over 1,300 members and allies in 24 chapters worldwide, they continue to grow.
Baby Boomers & GenXers provides members with resources through which they can share their experience and insights and encourage opportunities for professional development.
BERG, our Black Employee Resource Group, aims to increase the impact of Black colleagues on our business and has been instrumental in enabling courageous conversations while driving change in support of our response to racial inequality in the US.
SOMOS promotes the cultural diversity and professional development of our Hispanic and Latino employees and creates a supportive and inclusive working environment.
Lean In Circle
Lean In’s mission is to empower women to achieve their ambitions through small peer groups which
meet regularly to learn and grow together and provide advice and sounding boards.
Hype is dedicated to supporting employees in the first decade of their careers, although it is open to all ages and experience levels.
DAWN, our Disability and Wellbeing Network, provides members with a safe environment in which
they can share their experiences of living with a health condition or disability.
FAVE, our Field and Virtual Employees network, gives remote employees a sense of team
citizenship, engagement and inclusion, and encourages professional development.
EMbrace is a UK-based network for employees of ethnic minority backgrounds and their allies,
aimed at giving them the confidence to belong, celebrating difference and supporting their room
PATH, Pan-Asians for True Hospitality, celebrates and promotes Asian ideas and culture throughout IHG, while establishing a platform for development and inclusion.
Out & Open
Out & Open provides employees with a platform to participate in LGBTQ+ focused conversations and activities and support their local LGBTQ+ community.
Support and Engagement Resources for Veteran Employees helps members translate service skills into creating fulfilling careers, navigate civilian and professional life, and retain the spirit of shared purpose between them.
We’re committing at the top and listening to our colleagues
Every member of the Executive Committee has a DE&I-focused goal. Together with their leadership teams, they review talent quarterly, with a specific focus on diversity. For instance, in the UK, we’ve formed a steering group comprising EC, HR and ERG representatives to educate leaders on race and form an action plan to drive change.
We’re Listening to our – and changing: Open to everyone across IHG, our ERGs give our diverse colleagues and allies a voice, and we use these insights to support them and drive change throughout our business. In the US, BERG (Black Employee Resource Group), SOMOS (Hispanic ERG), and PATH (Pan Asians for True Hospitality) support a wide range of ethnicities, while our Europe and IMEA chapters of EMbrace are there for our racial/ethnic minorities and their allies.
As part of our commitment to achieving gender balance in our corporate leadership teams by 2030, we’ve made significant progress. We’re continuing to focus on how we attract more women into roles that have been historically less gender balanced and remove potential barriers to increase the number of female GMs across our estate.
We know that women are still hugely underrepresented at the high level of hotel management. Our global RISE mentoring initiative plays a key role in increasing the number of women in GM and other senior positions in our managed hotels. By Q1 2022, we were proud to say that more than 100 colleagues had graduated from the programme.
We want to create a future where aspiring female General Managers RISE up and succeed in achieving their ambition. This programme aims to inspire confidence in its participants, helping to grow their networks and provide a range of opportunities for personal and professional growth. Almost 130 hotel-based female leaders have so far joined the 12-month programme, with nearly a third of them having since been promoted.
We’re growing our global network of Lean In circles to empower our female colleagues to realise their ambitions by supporting one another through small peer groups that meet regularly. These help them to learn and grow together while providing advice and sounding boards. We want all our women to be in a position to consider opportunities that encourage career growth, and which help them fulfil their potential.
Area General Manager, Western Australia
“Rise helps to have the conversations about the future and is a wonderful blend of life experience with professional integration to be your best self.”
Rise Mentor, US
“The most rewarding part of the Rise mentorship program for me is being given the opportunity to make a difference in someone's future. It also revealed the importance of ensuring we, as leaders, provide the necessary tools and support for our colleagues to grow and develop.”
Rise Participant, Greater China
“Participating in the Rise programme makes me feel as if I have invisible wings – it has helped me open my mind, and become more confident and calm”
We’re committed to having leaders who represent the truly diverse global nature of our business and drive our commitment to DE&I in all our markets.
We’re partnering with HBCUs to support our Early Careers Talent
We’re partnering with two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Atlanta – Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University – and Georgia Tech to diversify our early careers pipeline and attract interns to summer programmes in the US. We’ve partnered to attend HBCU Career fairs and for 2022 we welcomed interns in our Atlanta office providing an engaging and immersive experience into the world of IHG and Hospitality.
IHG Ascend (US)
Racial/ethnic diverse colleagues in Director roles selected for our Ascend advanced talent programme – which launched in the US in 2021 – are benefiting from executive sponsorship and the McKinsey Leadership Development Programme, which helps them gain the skills they need to take on more senior positions.
Partnership with WiHTL & TNON (UK)
In the UK, as founding members of the WiHTL Advisory board, we’re partnering and sponsoring their Ethnic Future Leader programme, as well as sponsoring The Network of Networks (TNON), Mid-Manager Talent programme. This is so that we can continue to develop and invest in our investing in racially/ ethnically diverse colleagues increasing racial/ethnic minority representation in our leadership.
Recognising our talent
Here's the Empower Role Model List 2022, showcasing some of our leaders who are making a real difference in this space.
Regional Vice President
Future Leader Role Model
VP Commercial & Revenue Management
Executive Role Model
Global Revenue Strategy
Advocate Role Model
Senior Manager, Global Corporate Affairs
Future Leader Role Model
EVP Global Corporate Affairs
Executive Role Model
Supporting our Local Leaders in IMEA
In India, Middle East & Africa (IMEA) region, we’ve created a dedicated DE&I workstream and launched a series of functional talent development programmes that are supporting the growth of our Saudi colleagues and fast tracking them into leadership positions. With local government mandates to increase local talent within the private sector– and although we already have more than 4,500 people working across our managed estate there – including GMs, many of whom are Saudi nationals – we want to do even more, so we launched our ‘True Saudi, True Hospitality’ campaign, with the aim of hiring 6,000 nationals in KSA by 2030.”
We are committed in supporting our LGBTQ+ community by championing LGBTQ+ rights, partnering with local organisations and importantly educating allies across the business on topics such as using pronouns and trans-awareness.
We celebrated Pride globally
Through Pride Month and always, we’re all in and we’ve been celebrating and supporting the LGBTQ+ community across IHG, striving to give our employees the confidence to be whoever they want to be. For more details, see our blog below rounding up all the events throughout the month of Pride.
Pride in London & Black Pride
Celebrating intersectionality, we were pleased to sponsor 2022 summer Pride in London event, which was extra special as it celebrated its 50th anniversary, and 2022 Black Pride celebrations - whilst also working with an external provider to deliver trans awareness training to our hotel teams throughout the UK.
India Trans awareness event
IHG India Lean In circle, welcomed award winning transgender activist, artist, poet, action and inspirational guest speaker, Kalki Subramaniam, who spoke to colleagues about gender identity, sharing experiences and providing practical topics on how to role model inclusive behaviours.
The largest pride festival in the Southeast US, over 150 IHG Colleagues volunteered and celebrated the Atlanta pride event in 2022 whilst IHG Hotels & Resorts became recognized as a Platinum Sponsor.
Our teams in Philippines sponsored and attended Pride PH Festival too for the their first time. Colleagues within region marched with joy and Pride, honouring the Filipino LGBTQIA+ community by creating a space that uplifts and emboldens us to gather together to challenge Philippine institutions by calling for radical change.
At IHG, we work with several charities and non-governmental organisations globally to create a supportive environment for colleagues with disabilities. In addition, our Disability & Wellbeing Network, provides members with a safe environment in which they can share their experiences of living with a health condition or disability.
IHG Change100 Programme
Since 2017, we continue to build our relationship with Leonard Chesire disability charity, with who we have partnered on The Change 100 Programme in the UK. This fantastic initiative provides three-months paid work experience opportunities with top employers for talented students and graduates with disabilities.
Rebecca Buckman, a Global Finance intern who works part-time and is fully remote, credited her mentor and line manager for easing her into the Group Treasury team. Rebecca is also certain that having such a flexible work schedule allowed her to manage energy levels alongside her disabilities. As a final note, she added “I really enjoyed working in such an inclusive company – it has given me a lot of hope for the future!”.
Prior to her internship, HR Talent intern Parisa Karamlou had never worked in the HR field but wanted to gain more exposure in the area. She recognises the effort her team took to get her involved in different projects as being integral to her development in her role. Parisa also views the feedback, advice, and daily guidance received as key to her success, managing both her workload and disabilities in a way that felt do-able for her. She said, “working with the HR team I got first-hand exposure to how welcoming the company truly is and the steps they are taking to become more inclusive; this made me feel at ease and supported.”
Alfie Marshall, a HR intern that works fully remotely says IHG has been fantastic in helping him maintain his second job as a Tour Guide and but allowing him to fulfil his commitments as a student. He went into this internship expecting a very difficult few months in balancing his schedule, but was happy to be surrounded by an incredibly understanding team. Alfie gives credit to his line manager, who got him involved as much as possible.
Senior and Disabled Workforce (Greater China)
China has one of the world’s fastest ageing populations, so we ’re offering the older generation a new opportunity – and harnessing its great knowledge and expertise – through extended work experience placements at our Holiday Inn Express hotels, ahead of expanding the initiative across all our brands in the region.
We’re also supporting individuals with disabilities by providing opportunities at Holiday Inn Golden Mile Hong Kong, and through a strategic partnership with special education schools to offer work experience in our hotels, starting with Wuxi Special Education School in East China for mute and deaf children.
Partnerships in South-West Asia (SWA)
Our partnerships with Sarthak Educational Trust and Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled are helping us to recruit more inclusively. We had 55 disabled colleagues at the start of 2022, a number which increased to 69 just six months later, and we’re delighted to say is continuing to rise. Both of these partners are also supporting us with sensitisation sessions and sign language training for our hotel colleagues.