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Diversity and Inclusion Webinar Recap

In this quarterly AltoGuide session, Danni Prior, Global Partner Onboarding Manager for AltoVita, hosted an open discussion about the best practices and strategies for hospitality operators to provide a diverse and inclusive environment. Danni was joined by Di Gwinnell, Group People & Culture Director at edyn Group, Jake Seage, Head of Corporate Sales at STAY Worldwide Ltd and Jamie Finnie, Head of Travel at NES Fircroft who shared their experiences and opinions on the topic and what the corporate housing community can do to foster a more inclusive environment.

Diversity and inclusion is becoming a central focus for a lot of consumers. According to a recent survey, nearly 60% of travelers will choose a booking provider based on their inclusive practices, with 2 in 5 saying they will switch if the company doesn’t publicly reflect inclusive values. Fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion is not only important for commercial reasons but also from an ethical standpoint.

Click on the link below and watch the recording of the webinar.  Make sure to also follow us on LinkedIn where we will be announcing our next webinar session in the coming weeks.

Key Takeaways 

Di Gwinnell, Group People and Culture Director at edyn Group

“The challenges with policies generally, from my perspective, is that they can just sit on a shelf and not be lived, and are just a tick box. You cannot do that with D&I and you cannot do that with ESG either. It needs to be something people really buy into, they understand, and it is just lived day-to-day.”

“…we started with our ethos and our way of being at edyn and built it up from there. We are still working with a consultancy at the moment around D&I because we recognise that we still have lots to do and I think everyone has.”

“…this is an evolving agenda that we just need to keep moving with and learning from and as soon as you do a policy you tend to go oh, that’s done, fixed, move on.”

“…I think as an industry hospitality is sometimes a little bit behind, so I would love hospitality to really be leading the way in terms of D&I.”

Jake Seage, Head of Corporate Sales at STAY Worldwide Ltd

“To me diversity and inclusion means giving everybody a seat at the table and it means representing each and every walk of life that sits within the human race….”

“..for us it’s about being flexible…we try to use our D&I policy as a framework to guide us towards the right decisions, but ultimately the way that we do that is by talking to people and listening”

“…we have a specialist training that is virtual at the moment but we are hoping to make more in person and more interactive but all of our employees at STAY and that’s our parent company as well, have to go through that process”

“..for our travelers we don’t ask for gender before guests arrive…we are asking the minimum that we need in order to make that person not feel like they have to share stuff they don’t want to”.

Jamie Finnie, Head of Travel at NES Fircroft

“…when thinking about what you can do to be more inclusive, a zero tolerance policy is one thing, but I think there has to be a culture of acceptance as well within the business.  It’s all well and good saying we do not tolerate descrimination, but actually we have to be quite accepting”.

“…I think we need to break this stigma that there’s any shame behind being who you want to be”.

“…I would like my daughter to grow up in a world where she is accepted and included anywhere that she goes and does not have to worry 11 countries where she could potentially face the death penalty for being who she wants to be….there needs to be more consideration across the whole industry…I think things are changing and things are getting there…”

Danni Prior, Global Onboarding Manager at AltoVita

Everyone needs to have a seat at the table so that their experiences and feelings can be heard. We can’t possibly know each and everyone’s experiences.  So if we truly want to be inclusive we need to include everyone in the discussions to make effective change.

Diversity and Inclusion needs to be celebrated all year round. Rainbow logos and celebrating pride month, black history month, disability awareness week etc is great – but if people/companies truly want to make an impact towards a more inclusive environment, they need to be celebrating people’s differences all year round. The more light we shed, the brighter the future!

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