Marriott to spend $500M with women-owned businesses in 2019

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Marriott International expects to spend $500 million on goods and services from women-owned businesses. Photo credit: Getty//Digital Vision

Four years ago, Marriott International pledged to nearly double its annual spend with women-owned businesses to $500 million by 2020. Now, the company has signaled it expects to reach that goal in 2019 instead.

The $500 million total will consist of spending on goods and services at both its managed hotels and at corporate. The products include slippers, coffee and banqueting furniture from China; fragrances, cold press juices and linens from India; and responsible seafood, artwork for guestrooms and lobbies and tortillas from the United States.

Additionally, earlier this year the company promised to spend $100 million above current levels over the next three years with women-owned businesses worldwide. Marriott plans for half this amount to be spent with businesses in developing countries like Belize, Rwanda and Cambodia.

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“A diversified supply chain is important to us as a company because it reflects our culture of empowering people through opportunity,” Arne Sorenson, president/CEO of Marriott, said in a statement. “But these women-owned businesses aren’t just supporting Marriott. They are contributing to the overall economy by creating jobs, renting commercial space, innovating new product lines and serving as business and civic leaders. Their success is a win for everyone.”

The company predicted it sits in a good position to reach its broader goal of spending $1 billion with diverse-owned businesses, including those owned by minorities, veterans, persons with disabilities and people in the LGBTQ community—in 2020.

“Diversifying our global supply chain with people who represent a variety of communities and backgrounds is not only gratifying—it makes tremendous business sense,” Ray Bennett, chief global officer of global operations at Marriott, said in a statement. “Tapping a greater range of entrepreneurs spurs innovation, competition and ultimately business success.”

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