Tamara McLaughlin, Director of Sales & Marketing, Hilton Los Angeles Culver City
February 22, 2021
There are so many conversations being had about diversity and inclusion that sometimes it feels like we aren’t actually DOING the work, we’re just talking about it. In an effort to contribute to the solution, we have to be about it as much as we talk about it.
Here are a few actions that we can take toward being about it:
Taking a stand on being intentional.
It’s important to bring you into everything you do. It seems simple enough, but it’s also easy to forget. From presentation decks to giving feedback, we constantly create messages through the guise of the majority. Frankly, I don’t blame us. It’s easier to lean into what’s comfortable rather than being intentional about the choices we make in our work. Our intent should be to reflect our voices and experiences in as many places as possible. I have been given a platform to represent the faces, culture and stories that are relevant to my industry. To leave myself out of that equation is problematic.
Taking a stand on investigating beneath the surface.
The reality of the situation is that oftentimes race, gender, ability, etc., are diversity boxes that hoteliers feel like they just need to check off a list. For lack of a better expression, that mindset is lazy. “Getting it right” requires more empathy, more cultural intelligence, and ultimately more work.
Taking a stand on being the narrative to change the narrative.
It’s not often that people of color have other people of color in high-ranking positions to look up to. In my experience, the lack of diversity across leadership roles serves as a top catalyst for turnover. Hiring for diversity should include giving people more tangible examples of success that they can aspire to. If anyone reading this is part of a marginalized community, know that your existence in your role is important and valued. You are already someone’s history. You may not realize it, but somewhere, someone is either looking at you or they are looking for you—hopefully, it’s the former.