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Learn from the Special Awards Winners: Hilton Antwerp Old Town - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Learn from the Special Awards Winners: Hilton Antwerp Old Town - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Special Awards celebrate the Best Workplaces™, who went the extra mile last year on the following three topics: ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, ‘Corporate Sustainability, and ‘Employee empowerment. Even during these difficult times, these organisations managed to be great employers! To get insights on how these organisations managed to receive their awards, Great Place to Work® organised the “Learn from The Special Awards” Inspiration Session.

Learn from the Special Awards Winners: Hilton Antwerp Old Town- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Serge De Wandelaer, General Manager of Hilton Antwerp Old Town, inspired us by sharing Hilton’s view on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).
Hilton is a global hospitality company with Team Members of more than 107 nationalities globally. The company knows that diversity makes them stronger, more innovative and more representative of the many guests and communities in which they serve around the world. This is especially true in Antwerp, with Team Members from 25 nationalities and guests that visit from across the globe.

Hilton’s strategy is to leverage and promote DEI

Hilton has been on a DEI journey for a long time. “In 2010, the Hilton Executive Inclusion Council (EIC) was created to actively pursue DEI by focussing on the following three pillars: culture, talent, and marketplace”, Serge explained.

Hilton’s strategy is to leverage and promote DEI through a framework of Culture, Talent and Marketplace initiatives to foster innovation and create a globally competitive business.

Firstly, they focus on culture by welcoming and celebrating everyone for their uniqueness and communalities. For example, Hilton installed the ‘Courageous Conversation Series’, where open communication between Team Members and leaders are intended to enhance allyship, racial equity and a more inclusive marketplace.

Secondly, their talent strategy in put into place by attracting, developing and retaining the brightest talents in hospitality trough inclusive programs to create a diverse pool of employees at all levels. For instance, a mentoring program was put in place by the EIC to mentor and sponsor emerging leaders through quarterly meetings. This way, Hilton ensures that leadership of the new emerging leaders is diverse, equitable and inclusive.

Lastly, their marketplace strategy exists of engaging, supporting, and creating business opportunities in their communities. For example, Serge explained that Hilton has strategic partnerships with non-profit organisations to engage diverse customer segments and they created the Hilton Effect Foundation to support diverse communities worldwide.

We are diverse by nature and inclusive by choice  

Hilton embodies these three strategies by stating: “We are diverse by nature and inclusive by choice”. Hilton has installed several channels through which they establish their commitment and accountability around DEI. For instance, a Quarterly Diversity Dashboard (monitored by the EIC) measures the performance of Hilton against its diversity goals. Moreover, Serge himself is a mentor for two Ukrainian refugees who Hilton Antwerp hired. Hilton thus believes that focussing on DEI fuels innovation and drives its growth. According to Serge, “when you use the resources, uniqueness, and values of your employees in all their ways, you will keep continuously growing and become a market leader”.

Are you inspired to become a Best Workplace yourself and win a Special Award?
Join one of our information sessions and start your journey HERE!