As an industry, we have led initiatives to make travel for those with disabilities more accessible, we have led inclusion efforts for LGBTQ+ travelers, and we have one of the most diverse workforces when compared to almost any sector.
We all know discrimination has no place in our industry, and we should not accept it in the form of racism, sexism, and beyond. We also believe it is our responsibility as leaders in the industry to not be silent. We must provide a voice to others, and we must take action to stand up for inclusion.
From a leadership standpoint, our actions and the representation on our industry boards do not necessarily match who we are as an industry. We can do better, and we as industry partners, sponsors, corporations, and members are asking others to stand with us. Together, we must do more than state our support for inclusion. We hope to inspire the silent majority to not only serve as allies but as advocates for inclusion.
As organizations, many of us are looking inwardly at how we can be more inclusive within our own policies, hiring practices, board representation, and many other activities. We all find ourselves at various points in our own efforts and actions that we hope will lead to positive, systemic change.
Many corporations and individuals are providing charitable contributions to support underrepresented communities and equality initiatives. While these actions are one step of social responsibility, there are larger budget line items that we can use to affect change. Specifically, our sponsorship and marketing efforts.
We believe those organizations we sponsor should have views that align with not just our industry, but our values towards inclusion. Together, we are asking all organizations that receive sponsorships from our organizations to make their board composition more inclusive. Generally, we would like boards to be composed of 50% females and 20% from minority groups. We know this is not something that can be done overnight, so, we would ask those that do not meet these levels to craft objectives that will make meaningful improvements towards improving the diversity of their qualified board members.
Our industry has the ability to not just make travel more inclusive, we have the opportunity to make the work and the leadership of our industry more inclusive. We would ask corporate partners, vendors, and DMOs to join us in making this commitment.
Dan Janes, CEO, Madden Media
Ryan George, CEO, Simpleview
Santiago C. Corrada, President and CEO, Visit Tampa Bay
Brent DeRaad, President and CEO, Visit Tucson
Andrew Fischer, CEO, Choozle
Marc Garcia, President and CEO, Visit Mesa
Nelson Gumm, CEO, AJR Media Group
Patrick Kaler, President and CEO, Visit Buffalo Niagara
Gladys Kong, CEO, UberMedia
Cree Lawson, CEO, Arrivalist
Sarah Lehman, CEO, Entrada Insights
Anand Patel, President and CEO, Visit Fairfield
If you are an organizational leader that would like to add your organization, please reach out to Dan Janes, CEO, firstname.lastname@example.org