African Americans comprise the largest percentage of travelers of color in the United States, according to the NAACP report, and while the hotel industry is largely staffed by workers of color, African Americans are not receiving equitable treatment.
“They overpopulate entry-level and lower-wage positions while being underrepresented in higher-level, more lucrative positions, such as that of general manager,” the NAACP report says.
“With economic inequality at its highest levels in recent decades, it is important that the hotel and lodging industry provide access to jobs with livable wages, long-term career possibilities and contract opportunities for minority owned businesses particularly in African American and other economically disenfranchised communities,” said Dedrick Muhammad, NAACP Senior Director of Economic Programs.
The study also recommends improving access to programs, opportunities and career paths in the hotel industry for people of color. Several organizations, like the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, are already advancing some of these initiatives, according to the NAACP.
“The report card should serve as both an eye opener and a tool to encourage the graded corporations to strengthen job creation and wealth building opportunities for disenfranchised minorities,” said Leonard James, National NAACP Board Member and Chair of the Economic Development Committee. “The NAACP looks forward to collaborating with these corporate leaders and diversity advocates over the next several years to advance industry inclusion, at all levels.”