The American Hotel & Lodging Foundation (AHLA Foundation) has announced a new $5m, multi-year commitment and action plan to bolster diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in the hotel industry.

At the October 2020 meeting, the AHLA Foundation’s board of trustees voted unanimously to elevate DE&I as a key platform under the direction of a newly created DE&I Task Force.

This task force comprises senior leaders drawn from across the industry. It has developed a five-year road map to bring the industry to make an actionable commitment to foster DE&I by launching programmes to eliminate structural and behavioural issues.

AHLA Foundation president and CEO Rosanna Maietta said: “The AHLA Foundation Board of Trustees recognized that we can do more to build on our legacy of opening doors of opportunity to all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity or gender, and we believe that this bold, new five-year plan takes us one step closer to reaching that goal.

“This is a monumental example of an industry coming together to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, even at a time when COVID-19 has wiped out 10 years of job growth in the industry.”

Among the guiding principles identified by the DE&I Task Force include diversifying representation at all levels to better serve guests, associates, and communities; elevating inclusive leadership across corporate entities, franchisees, and supplier networks; and driving accountability and transparency to achieve measurable DE&I results.

During the next five years, the foundation will focus on boosting DE&I at the leadership level, across all talent levels, and developing a blueprint for the industry.

In 2021, the foundation will introduce a new Leadership Academy with focus on bolstering representation at the executive level, industry resources with sample policies and procedures.