WASHINGTON, DC – The percentage of hotel industry board seats held by Black members and women members, respectively, is going up. That’s according to recent research commissioned by AHLA Foundation and conducted by Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management. The increase exceeds the 2022 average in both categories for firms in the Russell 3000 Index, signaling progress in the effort to diversify corporate boards.

The report highlights multiple gains for the industry. The 2022 data set analyzed 230 board members at 28 companies between 2016-2022. Key findings include:

  • Women occupied 31.3% of independent board seats on hotel public company boards in 2022, a significant increase from 22.5% in 2021. This exceeds the 2022 average for firms in the Russell 3000 Index, which was 28.4% women.
  • Only one publicly traded hotel firm has no women on its board of trustees. In 2021, there were two firms with no women on their boards.
  • 67% of directors who were new to a board in 2022 were women.
  • In 2022, 12.6% of hotel public company board members were Black, a significant increase from 6.5% in 2021. This exceeds the 2022 average for firms in the Russell 300 Index, which was approximately 6% Black and is approaching the overall percentage of the U.S. population that is Black (13.6%).
  • 22% of directors who were new to a board in 2022 were Black.
It’s encouraging to see this progress. Our industry recognizes that with the board’s role in governance and oversight, increased diversity on hotel boards is a pathway to a more diverse hotel industry. The business case for diversity is clear. Research validates the value of diverse perspectives and experiences in our organizations, which shows up in our business as better recruitment and retention, more innovation, and greater success overall. Anna Blue, President of AHLA Foundation

The investment in this report to increase diversity is part of AHLA Foundation’s 5-year, $5 million commitment to advance DE&I across the hospitality industry.

About the AHLA Foundation

The AHLA Foundation, the charitable arm of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, works to support the hotel and lodging industry's greatest asset – our people. By connecting employees, employers, and their communities, we seek to continuously nurture a culture of professional growth and belonging. When the people who work in our industry thrive, the industry thrives along with them. The Foundation is funded by grants and charitable contributions from generous individuals and organizations who want to support individuals seeking opportunities to thrive in the hotel and lodging industry. Learn more at www.ahlafoundation.org.