For some companies, titles like “diversity and inclusion” are just there for show. For the Hilton, that’s not the case. Jon Munoz, Vice President of global diversity and inclusion for Hilton, is the first Latino, gay man to hold this title, and he’s taking it very seriously. We spoke to him about the company’s efforts to improve diversity and get rid of unconscious bias, as well as the good work they’ve already done.
What does the president of global diversity and inclusion do?
I lead our efforts for global diversity and belonging. It’s focused on a global framework for culture, talent, and marketplace initiatives, focused on our team members, our guests. We focus on the communities that we serve, and the vendors that we work with, to support our corporate offices and our property. We try to have a comprehensive approach toward diversity inclusion efforts, and I lead that effort.
What do you do to help the LGBTQ community and make sure everyone feels welcome?
As a gay man, it’s really important for me that we do the right thing for all of our communities. But, of course, I’m sensitive to the needs and desires of the LGBT community. So, it is important that all the voices are heard within the company. My role is to make sure that different voices are heard and integrated in the way we do business, the way we deal with our guests.
It’s important that we leverage our point of view to inform our company policy. In 2012, we launched our team member resource groups here at Hilton, and we also launched the LGBT and Friends group during that time. It’s a voluntary, collaborative effort to promote professional growth through networking and development and to support the business by tapping into key insights from each group’s vantage point.
Our LGBT and Friends resource group actively supports our marketing efforts, including private events in their respective corporate sites among other things. They’re very active and provide professional development opportunities, and also work on things like Pride every year, and Spirit Day.
How do you make sure people of color and other marginalized people feel welcome at Hilton?
Being Latino and gay, I’m really aware of the intersections that people have, and the way we’re talking about things like that more and more these days. So, I think it’s important that the company shows support, that the corporation shows support for team members and makes sure all actions allign with our values as a company. We’ve also done some things with the Human Rights Campaign’s Business Coalition to support the Equality Act, and we signed on with the UN LGBT Standards of Conduct. Those things help us insure we’re doing right by our community and supporting every voice in our community.
How does it feel to be getting the Corporate Ally Award at this year’s Power Gala?
We’re honored to have been recognized by the Colorado LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce as their corporation of the year. We do a lot of work with community organizations, and it’s important for us to have a strong voice and advocate for business owners around the country. We’re very proud of the work we do.
Is there anything else you wanted to highlight or talk about?
I’m really excited about our new Team Member Resource Group. We’ve seen a lot of growth and excitement with that. We’ve also done some work with the Human Rights Campaign, the International LGBT+ Travel Association, the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and more.
Starting in 2019, we mandated diversity and inclusion and unconscious bias training as a brand standard for all 17 of our brands representing 6000 hotels in over 113 countries and territories to ensure that our team members continue to meet our highest standards for an exceptional guest experience.
Photo provided by Hilton Properties