Davidson Hospitality Group has unveiled an underscored commitment to the significance of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) within the organization, fortified by appointing Kenny Imafidon, VP, operational excellence for the company, to lead its internal council; investing in training programs and workshops; and forging a strategic partnership with the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH).
Under the leadership of Imafidon, the DE&I committee comprises 17 individuals from all areas of the organization, from treasury and accounting to marketing to human resources. The role of the committee is to provide an advisory role from a diverse perspective, integrate initiatives to inspire and create processes that will optimize accountability. Areas of focus include training & development, community outreach & engagement and attraction & recruiting.
“We firmly believe that our success is inherently tied to the diverse perspectives, experiences and backgrounds of our team members,” said Thom Geshay, CEO, Davidson Hospitality Group. “By committing time and resources, we create an environment in which all team members can thrive under our core value of ‘Be Inclusive, Together We Are Stronger.’ Through our embrace, we create a tapestry of talent, enabling us to better serve our guests, partners and team members.”
Davidson has invested in learning and development programs that play a pivotal role in empowering team members with knowledge and tools to understand, respect and appreciate the rich diversity within its workforce and world. Moreover, it encourages continuous learning and adaptation, a necessary part of breaking down biases and promoting acceptance. A sampling of courses includes:
- “Hiring for A Diverse Workforce”
- “Leveraging Diversity and Strengths in the Workplace”
- “Culture Series: Being an Ally”
- “Creating Value through Diversity and Inclusion”
- “LGBTQIA+ Inclusion in the Workplace”
- “Understanding and Strategies for Tackling Unconscious Bias”
This month, Davidson embarks on a partnership with the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality, a leading professional organization dedicated to promoting diversity, inclusion and career advancement for minorities in hospitality and related fields. The mutually beneficial alliance fosters inclusivity, drives innovation and contributes to long-term success of both the organization and the diverse professionals it serves.
“The hospitality industry thrives on diversity and the unique perspectives and talents that individuals from different backgrounds bring,” said Imafidon. “By engaging in educational initiatives, embracing cultural appreciation and actively supporting the community, we demonstrate our commitment to fostering an inclusive culture that appreciates the contributions of all team members, regardless of their race, sex, gender or ethnicity. This inclusive approach enriches our workplace, enhances guest experiences, and strengthens our industry as a whole.”
Conscientious of the intersectionality of DE&I, Davidson continues to strengthen and evolve the Women in Leadership Development (WILD) program, a team member resource group for women to gain the mentorship, skills and personalized development they need to progress in their careers. WILD’s objectives include investing in high-potential women through American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Castell Project; increasing female team member engagement; building a spirit of collaboration; and increasing effectiveness of current female leaders to maximize their reach.