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Are Your Meeting Suppliers Making the Grade for Inclusivity?

The Disability Equality Index and the Corporate Equality Index are two resources to help answer that question. Caesars Entertainment made the 2021 DEI list for the first time, joining a few other hotel companies and airlines.

For organizations with diversity and inclusion standards or goals, the meetings department can support those efforts by working with suppliers that have similar initiatives.

One effort to track corporate inclusion is the Disability Equality Index (DEI), a joint program of the American Association of People with Disabilities and Disability:IN, a global business disability inclusion network. The DEI is a benchmarking tool that provides participating employers a score on their self-reported disability policies and practices. Similarly, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index benchmarks corporate practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer employees.

The Disability Equality Index looks at questions around employment practices, corporate culture, and community engagement, and other areas, recognizing employers that score 80 percent or above on its “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion” list.

Caesars Entertainment just announced that it made the 2021 DEI list, with a score of 80 percent. “Caesars looks at DEI from multiple lenses such as environmental social governance, supplier diversity, policy advocacy, and thought leadership,” said Jill Houghton, president and CEO of Disability:IN. “They embrace disability inclusion as a key facet of social-economic equity, belonging, and inclusion.”

Other suppliers on the 2021 DEI list that support the meeting and convention industry include Marriott International, Choice Hotels, Airbnb, Uber, and four major airlines: American, Delta, United, and Southwest.

The HRC Corporate Equality Index is similar to the DEI, though focused on LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices, such as providing domestic partner and transgender benefits. In the 2021 CEI, 767 employers achieved a score of 100, allowing it to use the “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality” label. Many large hotel chains, including Marriott International, Hilton, Hyatt, Choice, and InterContinental are on the 2021 CEI list.

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