Apoorva Gandhi, vice president of multicultural affairs at Marriott International, wants you to know he is not the first person in his company to focus on diversity. But few have helped Marriott take such major strides in one of the most talked about realms of the meetings industry. His job is to find the right partners for the brand and then maximize ROI on each endeavor. Here, Gandhi shares Marriott’s mission to be a leader on diversity and the intricacies that go into making it one of the world’s highest-rated companies when it comes to inclusion, including the brand’s #LoveTravels marketing campaign.
What pushed Marriott to be at the forefront of attracting diverse groups?
We want to engage with these organizations for a lot of good reasons. One, they are great organizations doing great things. We also want to make sure our house is in order. We don’t want to go for the money first because I think diverse groups can see through that. It’s like with marriage equality, everyone says, “Oh my goodness, how can we make money?” That’s not the right way to go about it. We’ve been at this for a long time. It’s not like one day we discovered all of these groups.