WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Female business leaders from Mexico gathered on Tuesday, January 13 at the JW Marriott Mexico City to celebrate the debut of "JW Voices for Women" – a program to advance opportunities for women in Mexico and globally through mentoring. The partnership will empower JW Marriott's high-performing female hotel leaders to engage with women-owned businesses in their respective markets. The effort is driven by a long-term strategic brand partnership between JW Marriott and Vital Voices, a global non-profit that trains and mentors women to enhance their leadership and economic opportunity.
"The JW Voices for Women program will provide unique opportunities for women entrepreneurs and business leaders in countries like Mexico – where the full participation of women in the workforce is crucial to achieving sustainable economic growth," said Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in a letter shared at the kick-off event.
In 2014, JW Marriott and Vital Voices developed the program while collaborating on the launch of the new Vital Voices Mexico City chapter and a local mentoring program. "JW Voices for Women" leaders have been appointed in Mexico City and Dubai with additional markets to follow in 2015.
Piloted at the JW Marriott Mexico City, "JW Voices for Women" provides valuable career development and networking opportunities for women around the world. The partnership with Vital Voices is also helping to meet hotel revenue and supplier diversity goals and grow the hotel's reputation within its local market. With 69 hotels around the world, the JW Marriott brand is committed to sourcing supplies and services from women-owned businesses.
"Marriott's co-founders were J.W. and Alice Marriott, a husband-wife team who ran a root beer stand in Washington DC in 1927. Alice was our first chef and accountant so women have always been at the heart of our business," said Mitzi Gaskins, Vice President & Global Brand Manager for JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts. "As a global hospitality brand, we are welcoming to all people, and a culture of diversity and inclusion is in our DNA."
Created as a forum to educate and empower women, Tuesday's event featured networking activities for more than 100 women who attended. There were two panel discussions about the economic and career challenges women still face in Mexico, the importance of investing in the power of women to drive change, and the powerful results of mentoring and its impact. Panel discussions were moderated by Kathleen Matthews, Chief Global Communications and Public Affairs Officer, Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR), and Alyse Nelson, Vital Voices President & CEO. Speakers and panelists included:
- Mitzi Gaskins, Vice President & Global Brand Manager, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts
- Lucy Lara, Editor-in-Chief, Glamour Mexico & Latin America
- Cintia Angulo, President and Director, Alstom Mexico
- Eugenia Podesta, Director, Latin America & the Caribbean, Vital Voices
- Luz Maria de la Mora, Founder, LMMConsulting & Vital Voices Mexico
- Belen Alonso, Director of Sales, JW Marriott Hotel Mexico City & VV GROW Mentor
- Marisa Porrua, General Director Arte Irrepetible & VV GROW Mentee
- Sylvia Sanchez Alcantara, Founder, Retos Feminios & Tu Reto Emprendedor
"We are delighted to deepen our partnership with JW Marriott Hotels through the new JW Voices for Women program," said Alyse Nelson, President and CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership. "We believe that it's critical that companies and their leaders follow JW Marriott's example in using the power of mentoring to support the career development of women entrepreneurs in Mexico and elsewhere around the globe. Harnessing the passion and excellence of JW Marriott's female leaders will undoubtedly deepen the success of the women entrepreneurs in our global network."
The JW Marriott partnership with Vital Voices is part of a larger commitment to action announced by Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting where more than 25 organizations came together to track and measure at least US$1.5 billion in money spent with women-owned businesses based outside the U.S. over the next five years and to bolster the supplier readiness of 15,000 women entrepreneurs around the world. In 2014, Marriott International provided tremendous support towards this effort, identifying and spending nearly $3 million with WBEs outside of the U.S., while the JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts brand collectively spent well over $30 million with diverse-owned businesses.
About Vital Voices Global Partnership
Vital Voices Global Partnership identifies, invests in and brings visibility to women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities. The Vital Voices Global Leadership Network includes more than 14,000 leaders representing 144 countries who have trained and mentored 500,000 additional women and girls in their communities. Based on its experience with women business owners around the world, Vital Voices has launched the VV GROW Fellowship Program, a one-year program to support growth-oriented women business owners to take their businesses and leadership to the next level. This signature program is tailored to support women-owned enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa with a unique blend of online learning, in-person training, and individualized support services. www.vitalvoices.org
JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts
JW Marriott is part of Marriott International's luxury portfolio and consists of beautiful properties in gateway cities and distinctive resort locations around the world. These elegant hotels cater to today's sophisticated, self-assured travelers, offering them the quiet luxury they seek in a warmly authentic, relaxed atmosphere lacking in pretense. JW Marriott properties artfully provide highly crafted, anticipatory experiences that are reflective of their locale so that their guests have the time to focus on what is most important to them. Currently, there are 69 JW Marriott hotels in 26 countries; by 2020 the portfolio is expected to encompass more than 100 hotels in over 30 countries. Visit us online at jwmarriott.com and on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.
SOURCE JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts