IHG Hotels & Resorts (IHG) has entered into partnerships with two leading Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)—Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College—both located in Atlanta, home to IHG’s Americas region headquarters.
Through these partnerships, IHG will contribute resources and expertise to support students’ professional development, with a goal to inspire careers in hospitality and create a robust pipeline of future employment opportunities within IHG.
The partnerships with the two institutions are a part of a larger effort to deepen IHG’s early-career recruitment among historically underrepresented groups, which includes engagements with other colleges and universities and affinity groups such as the National Black MBA Association and others, the company reports.
“Our partnerships with Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College underscore IHG’s commitment to supporting the success of future leaders and increasing ethnically and racially diverse talent within our company,” said Elie Maalouf, CEO, Americas, IHG Hotels & Resorts. “Our goal is to create meaningful engagements that open more doors of opportunity for underrepresented groups. I recently had the pleasure of meeting a few of our summer interns from both schools and it was inspiring to be among a new generation of up-and-coming talent that we hope will soon come back to IHG.”
As a Premier Corporate Partner to Clark Atlanta University, IHG will help support students’ academic experiences in a variety of ways, including participation in its career week by preparing students for interviews and resume building. IHG executives will also participate in information sessions and speaking opportunities to connect with students interested in hospitality. This will include collaboration on a hospitality club and access to its virtual learning platform, IHG Skills Academy. Additionally, IHG will recruit students for its internship program and fund a student lounge.
“The success of our students depends on partnerships formed with forward-thinking companies like IHG Hotels & Resorts,” said George T. French Jr., president, Clark Atlanta University. “Students from Clark Atlanta University and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities represent some of the nation’s top talent. We are pleased that IHG has committed to diversifying its talent pool and workforce by partnering with CAU and other institutions that serve minority populations.”
As a Gold Corporate Sponsor and Morehouse College’s exclusive hospitality partner, IHG will participate in the school’s Business Association Week, Spring Symposium, Firm Day and Freshman Colloquium. The company will also support the college’s new student orientation, recruit students for IHG’s internship program and partner on select signature campus events.
“Morehouse is delighted to partner with IHG Hotels & Resorts in creating valuable professional learning experiences in the hospitality industry for our students,” said Douglas Cooper, executive director, career development and engagement, Morehouse College. “It is well known that increasing diversity within workforces is not only ‘the right thing to do,’ but it also positively impacts companies’ bottom line. Historically Black Colleges and Universities like Morehouse are century-old hubs for training and empowering enterprising, well-equipped, diverse talent for every job at the corporate level and beyond. The more companies like IHG intentionally seek out partnerships and pipelines to minority-serving institutions, the more equity we will create for our nation’s economic future.”
This summer, several students from both schools joined IHG for its internship program, which included engagements with senior leaders and working on a variety of in-depth projects across the business, including operations, marketing and revenue management teams. The company also has plans to offer scholarships in support of Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College students who are interested in careers in hospitality.
These partnerships are also part of IHG’s broader pledge to make meaningful progress on its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) commitments, which includes doubling the representation of ethnically diverse colleagues in Americas-based corporate leadership roles over the next three years.