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Diversity In Action

Wyndham Worldwide thrives with a robust diversity program

Increased IT needs have stepped up recruitment at this global hospitality company. An open environment, mentoring and work-life opportunities await job seekers


Wyndham Worldwide offers hospitality services to individuals and businesses. Its products include travel accommodation alternatives like vacation ownership, vacation rentals, and vacation exchange, as well as lodging franchising. Wyndham is affiliated with more than 7,200 hotels, 93,000 vacation rental properties, and nearly 200 vacation ownership resorts across six continents; it’s one of the largest companies of its kind.

National IT opportunities
In 2013, Wyndham Worldwide has invested more than $100 million in information technology and programs in areas like eCommerce, CRM, Oracle R12, Sharepoint and inventory management systems. Recently, IT positions have been the target of increased recruitment efforts, with continued growth in that area anticipated throughout the next year, says Denise Allocco, Wyndham Worldwide’s director of staffing.

“We have a number of IT positions, including database administration, enterprise architecture and network security, with a focus on mobile technologies,” Allocco says. “Oracle experience is definitely a plus.”

Job openings are posted on websites and social media outlets, including several that reach the diverse workforce. The company also utilizes experienced recruiters, according to Allocco.

“We recently rolled out our Talent Network application, on our career website (www.wyndhamworldwide.com/careers),” she notes. “On the Talent Network, we invite candidates to leave a calling card with us so we can contact them based on their profiles when a position becomes available.”

The company has an internship program, where recent efforts have focused on recruiting students majoring in the IT disciplines. “It has been a great opportunity for us to educate our internal IT population on the value of seeding our organization with new talent,” says Allocco. “It’s an exciting venture.”

Open environment
The Wyndham Worldwide global diversity council, led by chair and CEO Stephen P. Holmes, is made up of senior leaders. “We meet quarterly to discuss our goals and ensure that all our initiatives are carried out throughout the organization,” says Tiziana Sullivan, VP of diversity and inclusion.

“In addition, Wyndham has a diversity and inclusion curriculum, as well as leadership training programs with diversity components,” she says. “We include workshops, panel discussions, lunch and learns, and structured facilitated training.”

Although Wyndham Worldwide has a formal mentoring program, which includes one-on-one mentoring and mentoring circles, the culture of the company encourages mentoring relationships to form organically. “Our environment is open and inclusive,” says Sullivan.

The company sponsors seven associate business groups (ABGs). Open to all, ABGs currently include WYNPride, which focuses on LGBT employees, ¡Fuerte! for Hispanics, Spectrum for African Americans, I-VOW for veterans, Women on Their Way, AASK for administrative assistants, and Generaciones to address intergenerational concerns.

“These groups are key to our diversity and inclusion strategy,” says Sullivan. “They are extremely active in the company and they each have an executive sponsor. Not only do they help recruit diverse employees but they also provide their members with opportunities to take on visible leadership positions.” This type of exposure can lead to promotions within the company, Sullivan adds.

Work-life balance
“We support flexible schedules for our employees to allow them to pursue their interests, whether it’s an MBA or raising a family,” Sullivan says. “We also have resources available to make a busy lifestyle easier to manage, including a no-cost fitness center, dry cleaning pickup and dropoff services and an onsite nurse.” Employees are offered transportation to and from an imaging facility for yearly mammograms, Sullivan adds.

“Each year, we give associates a paid day off during which they can give back to the community in any way they choose,” Sullivan notes. And the company’s Big Brother Big Sister program, conducted during the workday, offers employees an opportunity to reach out to local youth. Over nine months, each participant is paired with a fifth or sixth grader for fun, educational and inclusive activities. “It’s about making sure the students are learning and letting them know that they can achieve anything in their lives,” says Sullivan.

The company’s Wishes by Wyndham philanthropic foundation supports a number of charities, most focused on children. Earlier this year, Wyndham Worldwide received the 2013 Innovation Award from Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) for its pro bono work providing legal counsel to unaccompanied refugee and immigrant children in the United States.

D/C




www.wyndhamworldwide.com

Headquarters: Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ
Employees: 32,500 worldwide
Revenues: $12.2 billion
(North America)
Business: Hospitality services, including hotels and travel rental accommodations. Develops, markets and sells vacation ownership interests and provides consumer financing through its vacation ownership resorts

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