Hotel guests are important but so are the employees – including those with disabilities,, according to Apoorva Gandhi, SVP of multicultural affairs, social impact and business councils, Marriott International.
WorkingNation sat down with Gandhi at 2022 Disability:IN Conference in Dallas.
The hospitality provided guests should not be dissimilar to the way associates are treated. Gandhi says there is an increase in employees with disabilities in response to the company’s inclusion practices. “With our self-identification campaigns at Marriott, we have seen an increase, but we also know that success is never final and there’s always more to go. We want to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to have an environment where people feel comfortable and that they belong and know that we will accommodate so folks can do their best work and feel part of the company.”
“We have been at this for 95 years,” says Gandhi. “It’s the spirit of hospitality. That’s the business we do. We welcome all, no matter who you are, where you come from, what your abilities are, or who you love. It’s crucial to how we do business. And it’s part of our culture of putting people first.”
In his personal life, Gandhi says, “I have been around dear friends and family with disabilities. My best friend is here with me at this great conference. He’s deaf. I’ve known him since we were tots. My youngest daughter wears cochlear implants. So, this is very personal and very important to me. I want her and my good pal to be able to have great opportunities to do great things because I know that they have the ability.”