As HSM concludes our month-long spotlight on supplier diversity, we’re taking a closer look today at our far-reaching efforts to encourage the growth and development of a diverse range of suppliers, including women-owned businesses. We had the opportunity to connect with Simone Ray, HSM’s Director of Supplier Diversity, to hear more about Hilton’s commitment to promote inclusion, support and visibility for women working within the hospitality landscape. Ray and her colleagues are putting programming, mentorships, grants, networking events and sourcing opportunities in place to help HSM make sure that women not only have a seat at the economic table, but a strong voice in driving the conversation.
HSM: What have you been able to accomplish with HSM’s Supplier Diversity Program?
Ray: The program began a decade ago, and since then we have cultivated relationships with more than 4,900 women-, minority-, veteran- and LGBTQ-owned businesses. Our supplier spend with these types of businesses has reached over $327 million, and we’ve committed to doubling our sourcing from diverse suppliers by 2030.
HSM: Can you share the overall journey of the Supplier Diversity Program?
Ray: In 2019, we embarked on a journey of transformation. The journey included investing even further in the program, innovating our communications and outreach to better tell our story and increasing Hilton’s involvement in the conversation around supplier diversity. We have truly elevated our program to best-in-class status.
HSM: How has this transformation journey included a focus on women?
Ray: HSM has made it a priority to offer content and programing that is relevant and empowering to women, like our collaboration with the Women Presidents’ Educational Organization (WPEO) to host our annual “Doing Business with Hilton” event. Suppliers in attendance were able to hear firsthand from industry leaders and experts and to make important connections. We also recently partnered with the Women’s Business Enterprise Council (WBENC) to host our second annual Supplier Diversity Summit.
HSM: How is HSM’s commitment to woman-owned businesses making a difference?
Ray: The economic development strategies from HSM’s Supplier Diversity team are designed to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship among our suppliers, which results in high-quality goods and services that benefit our incredible owners, customers and clients. When the procurement playing field is level, excellence emerges, and everyone wins.
Thanks to Simone, her colleagues and a companywide commitment to supplier diversity, HSM is leveraging our global reach to level local playing fields, carrying forward the important charge of promoting inclusion, support and visibility within the hospitality landscape. Learn more about our commitment to double sourcing from diverse suppliers by 2030, and visit www.mysupplymanagement.com or connect with us at HSMx@hilton.com to help create space at the table for everyone who is touched by travel.
Together, we can establish a more equitable and inclusive industry, better representative of a world that is becoming more diverse by the day.